New Brunswick

SPCA horse seizure is 'theft,' owner says

The woman who owned the 38 horses who were taken away by the New Brunswick SPCA on Tuesday says the seizure was theft and she wants the animals back.

Sandra Tomalin wants horses back

The woman who owned the 38 horses taken away by the New Brunswick SPCA on Tuesday says the seizure was theft and she wants her horses back.

Sandra Tomalin, 68, owned the horses with her sister Beverly on 12 hectares in Tilley, N.B., northwest of Fredericton. The SPCA says the horses were neglected and malnourished.

But Tomalin says she was shocked when the seizure happened.

"I think it's totally unfair," she said. "It's just theft is what it is."

Tomalin believes the natural shade, pools of water and an under-construction barn on her property show that she was not neglecting the animals.

"I want my horses back," she said.

Ontario dog ban

It's not the first run-in with the SPCA for the Tomalins. In 2009, both sisters were banned in Ontario from ever owning or caring for dogs after pleading guilty to one count each of failing to provide care for their dogs. The Ontario SPCA said more than 100 dogs were seized. Sandra Tomalin said it was only 13 dogs and that no one ever complained about her treatment of horses.

Tomalin says she has cared for horses for 50 years and that the seizure was brutal, with too many horses packed on a truck and 680-kilogram horses jammed in with 23-kilogram ones.

"And then they say some of them couldn't walk when they got there," she said. "Well if that's the case, they got injured on their truck."

Not everybody is pointing fingers at the Tomalins. Gina Taylor, of Plaster Rock, had purchased two horses from the farm and said the sisters had made good progress with their 12 hectares. "I'm sure that these horses have not been abused or neglected in any way," she said.

Many of the horses have been taken in by other horse owners in the province.