British Columbia

Emma Paulsen, B.C. dog walker, pleads guilty to animal cruelty

Emma Paulsen, the B.C. dog walker charged in the deaths of six animals in her care, has pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge and public mischief.

6 dead dogs were allegedly dumped in a ditch in Abbotsford, B.C.

A Langley, B.C., woman responsible for the deaths of 6 dogs was confronted by animal rights activists outside a Surrey courthouse 2:10

Emma Paulsen, the B.C. dog walker charged over the deaths of six animals in her care, has pleaded guilty to two counts, one of animal cruelty and one of public mischief.

In court to hear the proceedings, one of the dog owners, Jennifer Myers, said the loss of her beloved pet, Buddy, still caused her immense pain.

Myers said she believed jail time would be appropriate in this case, but that she wasn't confident it would happen.

Emma Paulsen is seen outside the Surrey courthouse where she pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and one count of public mischief on Nov. 12, 2014. (CBC)

As Paulsen left court, refusing to comment, she was heckled by animal rights activists.

Sentencing was set for January.

When the dogs first went missing in May, Paulsen reported they had been stolen from the back of her pickup truck.

She told police and the dogs' owners that she left her vehicle to use the washroom at a Langley dog park, and when she returned the dogs were gone. 

But Langley RCMP said in May that the animals apparently died while shut in Paulsen's vehicle, which was parked in Richmond.

The B.C. SPCA took over the investigation shortly afterward. 

In May, Paulsen reported that six dogs has been stolen from the back of her truck. Langley RCMP later confirmed that the dogs in fact died in the back of the truck from heat stroke. (CBC)

Paulsen was charged under the Criminal Code with killing or injuring an animal, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, failing to provide the necessities of life to an animal and falsely reporting an offence.

In August, animal cruelty officer Marcie Moriarty said Paulsen would also face two counts of causing an animal to continue to be under distress under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

That charge, Moriarty said, was precedent setting because it had never been laid before in B.C.

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      With files from the CBC's Tim Weekes


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