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Crime

84 distressed horses seized from northern Alberta properties

FILE: An RCMP cruiser.
FILE: An RCMP cruiser. Global News

EDMONTON — A 65-year-old Fort McMurray man is facing criminal charges after more than 80 distressed animals were seized from two northern Alberta properties earlier this month.

Gary Herbert Sparshu has been arrested and charged with causing injury to animals and breach of a court order after two properties were searched on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Three dead horses were found by RCMP and SPCA members at a property in the Wandering River area. They also found 52 horses in poor condition. RCMP said two horses and two donkeys were confined to corrals without adequate food and water.

A second property was also searched, where 20 horses were found in distress.

Two days later, the properties were searched again. Police said a veterinarian was called in and determined all of the horses were in distress. A total of 84 horses were seized by the Alberta SPCA and taken to a facility for further care.

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Sparshu has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1995 when he was charged under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta after 24 cows were found in distress.

In June 2014, Sparshu was prohibited from owning or having more than 60 horses in his control for five years.

Sparshu was taken into custody and will appear in court in Boyle on Feb. 23.

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