The BC SPCA has picked up the investigation into a Delta dog walker who had six dogs die of heatstroke in her care.
Emma Paulsen has been arrested by police and released after it was revealed online she had lied about the six dogs being stolen from her pickup truck last week while near a Langley dog park.
In fact, police say they appear to have died from heat exhaustion.
The SPCA’s Marcie Moriarty says the dogs’ bodies will be taken to a lab today to be examined.
She says, “In a case like this, the forensic evidence is going to be key. Whatever we can recover that tells the story helps solve the mystery in terms of, Did they die in the vehicle? What did they die of? How long might they have been in that vehicle?”
She says they were recovered from a ditch in Abbotsford.
Moriarty says necropsy results will take time, adding the SPCA have not yet spoken to Paulsen.
She says to all dog owners and handlers: even with side vents open and water in the vehicle –as in this case– it might not be enough to keep dogs cool.
Meanwhile, Paulsen was suffering from panic attacks last Tuesday, according to Al McLellan, who runs the website PetSearchers Canada and who spoke to Emma Paulsen about what happened a week ago.
Speaking with CKNW’s Phillip Till, McLellan says Paulsen told him she stopped taking her medication and had been under heavy pressure because of family problems.
“That day, I guess she had a panic attack after this happened, after she got back to the vehicle. Nonetheless, there was neglect involved obviously, but I guess when it happened, she just panicked and this is what the result was.”
McLellan says she’s being looked after in hiding right now, and a few psychologists have offered their help.
A petition is circulating online to toughen up Canada’s animal cruelty laws in the wake of the dogs’ deaths.
No charges have been laid yet in the incident.
About 250 names have been collected so far.
An online fund is also asking for donations to hold memorials
To view the petition, click here