Alberta man charged in animal cruelty investigation turns himself in, faces 60 more offences
A 50-year-old man previously charged with three counts of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to animals, is facing 60 additional charges.
Ross Andrew Atkinson, of Parkland County, turned himself in to police, RCMP said Thursday.
He was released from custody after a bail hearing and is scheduled to appear in Evansburg Provincial Court on Jan. 14.
On Wednesday, Patricia Lynn Moore, 48, was also charged with 60 additional counts of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to animals as part of the Evansburg RCMP’s animal cruelty investigation.
The criminal investigation was launched after RCMP received reports of starving horses on an acreage near Entwistle, located about 90 kilometres west of Edmonton.
RCMP said a total of 65 horses and six dogs were removed from a rural property on Jan. 8.
“The animals were alive but in varied states of health,” RCMP said in a Wednesday news release.
“The animals were taken to appropriate locations for care and medical treatment where required.”
On Dec. 9, Lauren Nagel — who is involved in the equine industry — told Global News on Saturday that back in December, she helped removed a horse from the property with an RCMP escort, on behalf of its owner.
She said she saw many neglected and malnourished horses, calling it an “animal hoarding situation.”
She and her colleague, Brenda Belanger, said multiple horses have died.
“Very, very quickly from entering the property, there was a large number of dogs and horses,” Nagel said.
“There were horses that were severely, severely malnourished that were very, very, very underweight with visible bones — you could see every single bone in that horse’s body.
“There were horses with obvious injuries that hadn’t been taken care of.”
WATCH BELOW: Dozens more animals have been removed from a farm west of Edmonton as part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation. Fletcher Kent has the latest. (Jan. 8, 2019)
When Global News reached out to Moore, she would only say she will fight the allegations in court.
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.
— With files from Slav Kornik, Global News.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.