An Alberta woman is facing an additional 60 charges connected to an investigation into animal cruelty at rural property west of Edmonton.
Evansburg RCMP have charged Patricia Lynn Moore, 48, with 60 additional counts of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to animals. Moore previously faced three counts on the same charge.
On Monday, police also laid three counts of the same charge against a second person: Ross Andrew Atkinson of Parkland County.
On Tuesday morning, RCMP officers, Alberta SPCA, a veterinarian and other officials were at an acreage near Evansburg to remove 65 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,” RCMP Cpl. Chris 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 themself, I don’t have details on.”
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 the acreage near Entwistle, located about 90 kilometres west of Edmonton.
Moore’s neighbour Brenda Belanger said she is relieved something is being done.
“Finally, the animals are going to be cared for properly and be put into proper facilities and get proper medical care and food,” she said.
Belanger said the charges are secondary.
“This is not about Trisha Moore. This is about the animals. This is not about Ross. This is about what’s right and humane for these animals,” she said.
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., which is about 60 kilometres west of Evansburg.
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.
Police said Moore remains in custody and was scheduled to appear in Stony Plain Provincial Court on Wednesday morning.
Evansburg RCMP said they are not seeking donations from the public for the animals. Arrangements have already been made for the care of the animals, police said.
— With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News