A woman facing 12 charges after eight dogs were seized from a hotel room in Innisfail, Alta. is the same woman who pleaded guilty to similar crimes in British Columbia almost three years ago, according to the B.C. Society for the Protection of Animals (BCSPCA).
Innisfail RCMP were called at around 11:35 Tuesday night about a suspicious woman. A woman was arrested because she “was believed to have dogs in her possession, contrary to court-imposed conditions to not possess animals,” RCMP said.
The next morning, eight dogs were seized by RCMP and were taken to an animal rescue organization.
An employee who was on hand for the seizure said the dogs were stressed but in good physical condition.
In a separate investigation, Innisfail RCMP were told about a woman pretending to be a law enforcement officer and asking a woman about her pet. The woman posing as an officer reportedly tried to take the dog.
Karin Adams, 46, is facing eight counts of failing to obtain a dog licence, and one count each of mischief, personating a peace officer, driving a motor vehicle without a valid licence, trespassing and harbouring more than three dogs.
Adams, of no fixed address, is scheduled to be in Red Deer Provincial Court on July 31.
On Thursday, police said seven of the eight dogs were lawfully owned by Adams. Police said she either purchased them or had been given the dog by previous owners.
“We strongly encourage people, if they’re going to re-home their pets, to really make sure they’re doing a thorough background check, collecting photo ID, runing a Google check,” Sgt. Lori Eiler with the Innisfail RCMP detachment said Thursday.
“I don’t think any of these original owners intended to send their animals to a less than desirable environment.”
Samantha Sparrow’s dog Millie was one of the eight that was seized. She said her ex-partner decided to re-home the dog and found a woman online who was interested.
Sparrow said the situation serves as an important reminder for people who are giving their animals away.
“If you absolutely have to re-home your animal then do it through a kennel or make sure you have an adoption fee on there,” Sparrow said. “People who see ‘free’ just grab it and run.”
Almost three years ago, a woman named Karin Adams pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in Houston, B.C. The BCSPCA confirmed to 630 CHED that it is the same woman charged in Innisfail.
In October 2015, Adams and her daughter Catherine Adams were given 20-year bans on owning animals in B.C. and ordered to pay almost $5,500 in restitution to the SPCA to offset care costs after 18 horses, 18 dogs, 15 birds, two cats and 104 fish were seized from their property in August 2014.
Karin was also sentenced to 15 days in jail and two years’ probation.
At the time, an SPCA spokesperson said the conditions the animals were found in were so bad that two of the horses were eating wood to survive. Many of the dogs were extremely matted, had dental issues and lacerations.
The animals were reportedly living in unsanitary conditions, lacked food, water and shelter, were underweight and suffered from poor hoof care and suspected parasite loads.
On July 4, the BCSPCA seized 16 dogs in distress from a property in Quesnel. The organization said the dogs were kept in crates that were too small for their size and the area they were in was poorly ventilated.
Karin and Catherine Adams were the ones keeping the dogs, according to the BCSPCA.
Chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said the BCSPCA will be seeking Criminal Code charges in that case, as the two have shown a “complete disregard for the law.
“This absolutely highlights the importance in cases like this where you have very motivated ‘repeat offenders,’ so to speak, that Criminal Code charges are pursued so that any potential ban would apply Canada-wide.”
The BCSPCA said the duo frequented the property where the dogs were found.
– With files from Emily Mertz/Alannah Page/Joel Senick, Global News & The Canadian Press