R v Chrysler, 2013 BCPC 0241 (CanLII)

This is the sentencing of Ms. Chrysler after bing found guilty of being a person responsible for horses, and having caused or permitted the horses to be in distress, contrary to s. 24(1) of the PCA. Ms. Chrysler was guilty of this offence in relation to five horses found on the property.

The horses were found to be all emaciated and in distress. They were on a property that provided poor physical environment, a dirty barn that had not been mucked out in a long time, the presence of liquid and dry manure in the stalls, and a bog-like entrance to the barn. There was no straw or woodchips in the stalls, absence of any quantity of food, no evidence of mineral supplements, difficult and muddy access to the barn, absence of fresh water in the paddocks and, therefore, the horses were consuming what he described as non-potable water.

The Court found that there was insufficient evidence to find that Ms. Chrysler had caused the distress but there was ample evidence to conclude, and the Court did find beyond a reasonable doubt, that she permitted the animals to continue to be in distress.

The aggravating circumstances are the condition of the horses was very poor. Ms. Chrysler was unwilling to seek assistance due to the malice that she had towards the SPCA and declined to contact other agencies and, accordingly, the animals continued to suffer as a result of that relationship that she had with the SPCA.

In mitigation, the Court pointed out that Ms. Chrysler had no prior criminal record. She was not found to be responsible for putting those horses into the condition that they were found, in the sense that she did not initially cause the distress, but she was found to have perpetuated it by virtue of permitting them to exist in that fashion for the six to eight weeks.

The Court found that it was appropriate to have Ms. Chrysler keep the peace and be of good behaviour, appear before the court as and when required to do so, and notify the probation officer in advance of any change in name or address and any change in your employment or occupation.

She was also prohibited from residing on any property where any domestic animal is present. She was sentenced to 30 community work service hours and prohibited from owning, possessing, caring for or otherwise handling any horse for her lifetime. In addition, she was prohibited from possessing, owning, caring for or otherwise being in custody and control of those animals for a period of 5 years.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: British Columbia

Topics: BC SPCAdistressemaciatedfarmfarm animalshorsesprobationprohibitionsentence

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