Delta dogwalker faces charges after animals die in hot car

The dog walker who told police that dogs in her care were stolen from the back of her truck before they were later found dead in a ditch in Abbotsford has been charged with animal cruelty and public mischief.

Emma Paulsen, of Delta, faces four charges under the Criminal Code, including killing or injuring an animal and causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal, each carrying a maximum prison term of five years, as well as failing to provide for an animal, punishable by up to two years in prison, and reporting an offence when it was not committed, which carries a five-year maximum sentence.

Paulsen also faces two counts of causing an animal to continue to be in distress, charges that carry, on conviction, fines of up to $75,000 and prison terms of up to two years.

The dog walker had six dogs in her care, including one of her own, on May 13, a day that reached temperatures as high as 25 C. Necropsies on the dogs indicated they died of heat stroke, according to the SPCA.

The dog walker initially reported the animals were stolen when she left them unattended while using a public washroom in a Langley dog park.