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Animal rights activists picket at courthouse against accused operator of Nova Scotia puppy mill

Click to play video: 'Woman accused of operating puppy mill in Wolfville, N.S. appears in court' Woman accused of operating puppy mill in Wolfville, N.S. appears in court
Karin Robertson is charged under the new Animal Welfare Act, and animal rights supporters are hoping that will be a warning to anyone who’s neglecting or harming animals in their care. Jeremy Keefe reports – Jan 21, 2020

A small group of people brought signs and their dogs to the Kentville Law Courts Tuesday in a show of support for the criminal charges laid against an accused puppy mill operator.

Karin Robertson made a brief appearance in court, prompting about a dozen animal lovers to attend and make their presence known.

“We’re coming to represent our support for the SPCA in their fight,” said Stephanie Gustys. “Just to show support for animal rights in Nova Scotia and the SPCA and what they’re doing.”

READ MORE: Kings County, N.S. woman faces 2 charges of animal cruelty following seizure of 35 dogs

Robertson is facing two counts of animal cruelty under the Animal Protection Act.

Gustys hopes the stronger regulations under the new act ensure that anyone found harming animals will receive sufficient punishments to deter others from committing similar crimes.

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“Cruelty is cruelty but animal welfare is providing them with food, providing them with water, providing them with adequate shelter,” she explained. ”

That was one of the biggest changes to this act and that’s where — from the pictures and the testimony that we saw at the hearing — that this was not being kept to the standards that we would expect for a breeder.”

“These dogs were not seeing vets,” she said.

Despite the appearance only being preliminary, and the temperatures dipping lower than -10 degrees, the group said they wouldn’t miss the chance to drum up awareness for animal rights.

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Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia SPCA seizes 35 dogs from puppy mill in Wolfville' Nova Scotia SPCA seizes 35 dogs from puppy mill in Wolfville
Nova Scotia SPCA seizes 35 dogs from puppy mill in Wolfville – Dec 11, 2019
“They [dogs] are just are so forgiving and they just love everything, they just don’t deserve to be treated the way that they’re treated in the puppy mills,” said Louanne Theriault, a dog owner of three and dog walker by profession.

READ MORE: Spate of animal cruelty charges laid across Nova Scotia

“They’re just treated like a piece of furniture or something that you can sell for money instead of an actual part of your family and a living being.”

“I just can’t stand seeing any animal treated poorly,” she said.

Robertson’s next appearance in court is scheduled for Feb. 18.

Follow @Jeremy_Keefe

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