More than 50 animals were removed from a rural property west of Edmonton Tuesday morning in connection with an animal cruelty case.
Late last week, Patricia Lynn Moore, 48, was arrested and charged with three counts of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals, according to RCMP.
On Monday, RCMP said a second person was charged in the case. Ross Andrew Atkinson, 50, of Parkland County, was charged with three counts of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to animals.
“The three charges that have been laid against each of the accused already are in relation to the deaths of three horses,” RCMP Cpl. Chris Warren said Tuesday.
On Tuesday morning, RCMP officers were at the Parkland County property to remove 52 horses and six dogs, police said.
“Aside from the genuine concern expressed for the animals’ welfare, there are court-imposed conditions on the accused to not be in possession or ownership of any of these animals,” Warren said.
“A veterinarian was present on site to help facilitate the transport of these animals, so they are going to receive appropriate care if need be. The condition of each animal them self, I don’t have details on.”
The Alberta SPCA was also on scene assisting with the process.
“The RCMP is leading this operation,” said Dan Kobe, communications manager with the Alberta SPCA. “There were some charges laid in relation to this property earlier this week and this is a follow up to that.
“They are removing a number of animals from the property and the Alberta SPCA, as a leader in animal welfare, has been asked to help manage the removal of the animals.”
A number of police vehicles, as well as a large horse trailer, were at the property on Tuesday.
Police launched their investigation after receiving reports of starving horses on an acreage near Entwistle, located about 90 kilometres west of Edmonton.
Warren said there’s no evidence to suggest any more animals have died since charges were laid. The investigation is still active.
“Information is still coming out. We haven’t concluded the investigation,” Warren said. “The presence of the RCMP and the ASPCA on the property today is a part of the continuing investigation.
“If any new evidence or any reasonable probable grounds exist for further charges, that will definitely be looked at.”
This is not the first time Moore has faced charges.
In 2010, three horses were found dead and another 16 were seized by the SPCA from a property near Carrot Creek, Alta.
Moore was charged under the Animal Protection Act and was convicted of allowing an animal to be in distress as well as failing to provide adequate food and water. Moore was fined $1,500 and was prohibited from owning more than two horses for five years.
Moore was also the focus of a Global News investigation in 2009. She faced several charges in connection with a dog breeding operation near Edson, and in 2012 was found guilty of animal neglect.
Both Atkinson and Moore have been released on bail, and are scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Jan. 14.
Warren expected further information on the investigation to be released later this week.