Former dog walker Emma Paulsen has been sentenced to six months in jail and two years probation.
She has also been prohibited from owning animals for 10 years. She has also been banned from caring for other people’s pets for life.
Paulsen pleaded guilty in November to animal cruelty and public mischief. Her sentencing took place in Surrey Provincial Court Wednesday (Jan. 28), with Judge James Jardine presiding.
Paulsen, who was a professional dog walker for several years, was taking care of eight dogs last May. She sparked widespread media coverage, public grief and numerous searches after she reported that six of the dogs were stolen from the back of her truck, which she claimed was parked at the Brookswood off-leash dog park in Langley.
She pleaded on TV for the dogs’ return. This prompted a massive search in the area near the off-leash park, with no results.
Days later, she revealed she had concocted the whole story. The truth, she admitted, was the canines died in the back of her canopied truck while she was shopping in Richmond, on a warm day. She then drove to Abbotsford, where she dumped the corpses in a ditch.
Necropsies revealed the dogs died of heat stroke.
The Crown sought six to 12 months jail, a $5,000 to $10,000 fine, a lifetime ban on caring for others’ animals and a 10-year prohibition from owning or living with animals.
Her defence lawyer recommended a conditional sentence served in the community.
Paulsen had no prior criminal record.