A Nova Scotia dog sitter accused of stealing and selling two dogs from New Brunswick appeared in a Bridgewater courtroom Wednesday morning.

Gail Benoit sneered at reporters and then raised her middle fingers while mumbling her displeasure at the cameras at her court appearance.

She was there to ask the court to lift a ban on selling dogs because it's her livelihood.


Gail Benoit appears in court on Tuesday. (Steve Lawrence/ CBC)


Benoit is charged with fraud, theft under $5,000 and identity fraud in a case involving two white boxers owned by Cassie Craft of New Brunswick.

Craft said she was looking for someone to look after her two white boxers, Diamond and Bently.

She told CBC’s Information Morning in a January interview that a woman from Waverley, N.S. named "Ashley" responded to her ad online looking for a dog sitter.

She said she dropped the dogs off in mid-November. Not long afterward, she said Benoit a.k.a. Ashley, stopped responding to her emails.

She then found out Benoit was a convicted animal abuser.

The dogs were returned to Craft in January.

As for whether Benoit should be allowed to sell dogs once again, the judge says the burden of proof is on the prosecutor.

The Crown will make its case next Thursday.

This is not Benoit’s first run in with the law. In January of 2009, she and Dana Bailey were found guilty of two counts of animal cruelty for selling sick and malnourished dogs.