Credits: REUTERS/JIM URQUHART
GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB - A British Columbia woman is facing animal cruelty charges after police said she threw two dogs into a campfire in this city last month.
The remains of one dog was found in a firepit at the Nitehawk Recreation Area on July 7. Police said the other dog appears to have escaped into the woods but has likely since died of its injuries.
Police said Debra Holden, 53, of Fort St. John, BC, was drunk when they arrived at the campsite and took her into custody.
She has since been charged with two charges of injuring or endangering animals and two charges of causing animals unnecessary suffering.
The remains of the dog have been sent to Saskatchewan for a post-mortem examination.
"It would be similar to conducting an autopsy and basically what we're trying to do is determine the cause of death," said Cpl. Roy Kennedy, spokesman for Grande Prairie RCMP. "And maybe determine if the animal was deceased prior to being thrown in the fire."
Kennedy said police were reluctant to release the details of the case due to fears of public reaction.
"Pet owners can be very passionate and it is a very small community. We were concerned about the backlash that the individual would face," said Kennedy.
Holden was released on recognizance with numerous conditions that include not to own dogs. She has a court date scheduled for September, when she is expected to enter a plea.