Saturday, December 12, 2009

B.C. woman charged after 73 ‘distressed’ animals seized by SPCA

Suzanne Fournier

Twenty-eight horses, 39 dogs, four cats, a pig and a llama are in the protective custody of the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after their owner was charged with animal cruelty.

Carla Christman, from the B.C. Interior city of Vernon, was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty after animal welfare officials seized the "thin and emaciated" injured horses, the terrier-mix dogs and "distressed" cats, as well as a "thin, sunburned" pig and an abused llama.

The small animals were crowded into an unventilated area "so thick with the stench of ammonia and feces that officers gagged upon entry," an official said.

The dogs were being allowed to breed, as were horses, which were on the brink of starvation.

"These animals were clearly in severe distress. We tried over several months to get the owner to improve their care and relieve their suffering, yet the animals continued to decline while she tried to breed some and keep selling them," said Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the B.C. SPCA..." More

Sept 12, 2009: Horses, dogs, cats, pig, llama seized from Vernon ranch

The SPCA has seized 73 animals from a Vernon-area property.

Special constables removed the animals Monday after their owner failed to comply with orders to improve conditions for the animals, according to an SPCA news release. Officers have made more than 20 follow-up visits during the past year.

“This was a case where the owner had been given every opportunity to provide proper care for her animals,” said Kathy Woodward, senior animal protection officer for the B.C. SPCA. “There were ongoing welfare issues that were not being addressed and it was clear that the owner would not, or could not, provide the changes needed for the animals’ well-being.”

The news release did not provide an address for the property, but Castanet reported that it is Scenic Valley Ranch on Irish Creek Road. Scenic Valley Ranch has been operating since 1973 as a beef cattle ranch and is owned by Charles Christman and his daughter Carla Christman. Its website has been suspended.

SPCA officers removed 39 small terrier-mix dogs (including 16 puppies), 28 horses, four cats, a pig and a llama from the property. Three more puppies were born in SPCA custody Monday night. None of the animals are available for adoption.

“Many of the horses were thin, injured, had long hooves and were being housed in an unsuitable and unsafe environment,” said Woodward...." More