February 1, 2016 2:06 pm
Updated: March 3, 2016 11:50 am

Former owner of emaciated husky Willow charged with animal cruelty



The former owner of an emaciated malamute / husky dog, who was found wandering and starving in Maple Ridge last January, has now been charged with two counts of animal cruelty.

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Yu Lin, a Coquitlam university student in his 20s, has been charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, following a BC SPCA investigation. If convicted, Lin faces up to two years in jail, a maximum fine of $75,000 and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals. He is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

When Willow was rescued she weighed only 15 kilograms and should have weighed around 24 kilograms.

Willow, estimated to be between one and two years old, was brought to the Maple Ridge SPCA by a Good Samaritan on Jan. 31. She was found wandering near 256th and 128th Street.

“She [had] been assessed with a score of “one” on the canine body conditioning scale of one to nine, meaning that she is severely malnourished,” said BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever when Willow was first found.

“When she first came in she was unable to lie down due to abdominal pain caused by rocks and soil in her gastrointestinal tract. There were no food remnants in her stomach so we think she was eating gravel to try to stay alive.”

After much care in a foster home, Willow went to her forever home last March.

Her new owner Dawn says Willow is thriving. She is happy, she has gained weight and all her fur has grown back. They have her on a raw diet that seems to work very well for her sensitive stomach.

Dawn says Willow is very loving and sweet and has an amazing tail. She adds that Willow is a bit of a couch potato, she loves her stuffed animals, being with her family and going for walks.

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Willow’s case raised similarities to another animal cruelty case in Maple Ridge in 2010 – involving Trooper, an emaciated golden retriever. Trooper weighed only 11 kilograms when he was brought in; a typical male golden retriever should weigh between 30 and 34 kilograms. On Aug. 23, 2010, Trooper’s former owner, Michael Schneider of Maple Ridge, received a $2,000 fine and 10-year-probation from owning animals. He was also ordered to pay $430 restitution to the BC SPCA.

GALLERY: Some readers may find the last two images disturbing:

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