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'Challenge of Province Hopping' - How Offenders with History of Cruelty Obtained Animals Despite Ban

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'Challenge of province hopping': How offenders with history of cruelty obtained animals despite ban

B.C. SPCA says cases need to be brought under the Criminal Code rather than provincial statutes

Clare Hennig · CBC News · Posted: Jul 24, 2018 2:21 PM PT | Last Updated: 6 hours ago


Three of eight dogs rescued from a motel room in Innisfail, Alta., after Karin Adams, who was found guilty of animal cruelty in B.C. four years ago and banned from owning animals, was arrested by the RCMP. (Klassic Kennels)


A pair of repeat animal abuse offenders, banned from owning animals, are once again facing legal repercussions after eight dogs were seized last week, raising questions about why they were able to keep obtaining animals despite past offences.

Karin Adams was arrested last Tuesday after the dogs were discovered in an Alberta motel room, distressed and in poor condition, just two weeks after she was named by the B.C. SPCA as being one of the women keeping 16 dogs in poor conditions in Quesnel, B.C. 

Adams and her adult daughter, Catherine, are still awaiting charges.

Karen Robless lived near the Adams' in Quesnel and said people in the community were aware of the women's history with animals. 

She told Carolina de Ryk, the host of CBC's Daybreak Northshe feels "a mixture of anger, fear and frustration" they were able to so quickly get ahold of more animals and were not being monitored.


Catherine Adams, left, and her mother pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after horses, pictured above, dogs, birds, cats and fish suffering from severe neglect, were seized from their B.C. property in 2014. She was also later convicted of animal cruelty in central Alberta in 2015. (Facebook/BC SPCA)


Long history of cruelty

Marcie Moriarty, the chief prevention and enforcement officer with the B.C. SPCA, said she shares Robless' frustration because of the pair's long history of animal cruelty.

In 2014, more than 100 animals — including 18 horses, 18 dogs and 15 birds — were found malnourished and neglected.

Both mother and daughter were banned from owning animals in B.C. for 20 years and Karin faced jail time.


Within months of their sentencing, more than 50 animals were seized from the women in Hanna, Alberta.

"Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20 but that ban only applied in [B.C.] because it was under the provincial statute versus the Criminal Code which would have had application across Canada," Moriarty said.

That means the SPCA can only intervene based on a breach, relying on public complaints, because the law currently doesn't allow them to remove the animals unless they are found in distress.

"That's the challenge with province hopping. All the provinces have some type of animal cruelty provincial legislation, so we're really working towards utilizing the Criminal Code more," she said.

She said she hopes this case will be the final straw for the Adams.

"Our courts are backed up, and they don't tend to jail people right off the bat," she said.

"We are hoping though that, finally, we will see that type of sentence come down in this particular case … We need to be, and we will, be proceeding via the Criminal Code." 

To hear an audio video of 'why repeat offenders in animal cruelty cases are able to keep getting new pets, click here:   

Just two weeks after a woman was named in an animal cruelty case in Quesnel, B.C., the same woman was found with distressed dogs in Alberta. And, she was already convicted of animal cruelty and banned from owning pets in 2015. So how does she keep getting animals? Carolina de Ryk speaks to Marcie Moriarty of the B.C. SPCA. 7:56



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Previous history of Karin and Catherine Adams .....


Woman charged after 8 distressed dogs rescued from Alberta motel room has history of animal cruelty

Karin Adams was under 20-year ban from owning animals after 2014 incident in B.C.



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