Dog walker makes first court appearance today

Emma Paulsen faces six related animal cruelty charges accused of leaving six dogs to die in the heat of her pick up truck in May.

  • Sep. 9, 2014 9:00 a.m.
Dog walker Emma Paulsen made her first appearance in court Tuesday morning

Dog walker Emma Paulsen made her first appearance in court Tuesday morning

The Delta dogwalker accused of letting six dogs die of heat exhaustion in the back of her pick up truck and then dumping them in a ditch, made her first appearance  in Surrey Provincial Court on Tuesday.

Emma Paulsen faces six charges including killing an animal, causing unnecessary suffering, pain or injury,  neglecting to provide adequate food, water or shelter, failing to protect and animal from circumstances that are likely to cause distress, causing or permitting distress and intent to mislead police in an investigation.

According to the court docket, she was in court to consult with her lawyer.

If found guilty, Paulsen faces a maximum fine of $75,000, up to five years in jail and a ban of owning or having custody of animals for a period of time determined by the judge.

Paulsen initially reported the dogs stolen from the Brookswood off-leash dog park in Langley on May 13, sparking a huge community search for the missing animals.

But nearly a week later she admitted that the dogs had died of heat exhaustion after she left them in her vehicle on a hot day. It appears the dogs died in Richmond.

Langley RCMP met with Paulsen and she led them to a ditch in Abbotsford where all six dogs were dumped. Of the six dogs that died, one was her ex-husband’s and children’s border collie.

The SPCA had a necropsy done on each dog and it confirmed the canines died of heat exhaustion.

Paulsen has been charged with animal cruelty and neglect under both the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

“Every charge that we recommended – and really, every possible animal cruelty-related charge that she could have faced – has been approved,” said Marcie Moriarty, SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer.