A Powell River woman is facing animal cruelty charges after nine alpacas, one llama and five chickens were removed from her Cranberry property in 2015.
The woman made her first appearance in provincial court on Tuesday, April 4, to face charges stemming from incidents dating back to October and November 2015.
BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) announced the charges in a media release on Monday, April 3.
BC SPCA constables determine if an animal is in distress and then take whatever action is needed particular to the situation, including recommending Crown counsel lay charges, said BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Tina Heary.
According to Heary, of the nine alpacas removed, two had been deprived of adequate food, shelter, water and veterinary care. Of the two, one had to be euthanized and the other died despite the efforts of care providers, she said.
According to the release, the alpacas were found to be emaciated with matted fur and overgrown teeth. One was infected with parasites. A rooster from the property was also found to be suffering from serious injury and needed veterinary care. It was later euthanized.
Heary said she did not know why it had taken more than a year for the matter to be brought before the courts.
“Sometimes the process can be really quick on our end, as well as on Crown counsel’s, but sometimes there are just inevitable delays,” she said.
BC SPCA special provincial constables and RCMP conducted the investigation, which included several visits to the property and the execution of a search warrant on November 29, 2015.
Powell River does not have a locally based special provincial constable, so any matter with regard to animal cruelty or neglect is either handled by Powell River RCMP or a BC SPCA constable from Comox Valley.
Under provisions of the provincial Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the woman faces a maximum fine of up to $75,000 and a prison sentence of up to two years.