Paulsen was responsible for the deaths of six dogs last May
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
A prison sentence six to 12 months was requested for Emma Paulsen during her January 21 court appearance. Paulsen pled guilty to charges of animal cruelty and public mischief in November 2014 in response to the deaths of six dogs in her care, including one of her own.
The Paulsen case began in May 2014, when Paulsen falsely reported that the six dogs she’d been taking care of were missing. Langley RCMP put out a call to the public with photos, descriptions, and names of the dogs in an attempt to have them found and rescued.
Paulsen reportedly left the dogs in her pickup truck while she used the facilities at a nearby dog park, according to Corporal Holly Marks.
The call to the public was made on May 14, only for Paulsen to reveal on May 19 to website PetSearchers.com that she’d made up the story “in a complete state of shock and panic,”
In actuality, the dogs had all died of heatstroke in the back of Paulsen’s truck in a Richmond parking lot while she went shopping on May 13. When Paulsen found the dogs, she proceeded to drive to Abbotsford where she left the bodies in a ditch, and then called the RCMP with the cover-up story the next day.
Paulsen’s court proceedings began in November, when she was initially charged with killing or injuring an animal, amongst several other charges.
Various owners of the dogs have since spoken out publicly in disappointment of Paulsen’s actions, while a minority of the public has sympathized with Paulsen’s “state of shock” reaction.
However, during Paulsen’s January 21 proceedings, it was revealed Paulsen had been specifically asked not to leave dogs in her car on numerous occasions, according to Crown prosecutor Jim MacAulay.
Amongst other sentences, MacAulay has requested Paulsen have a 10-year-ban on owning her own animals and a “lifetime ban on … caring for anyone else’s animals,” according to the Province.
However, Paulsen’s lawyer, Eric Warren, stated that sentencing Paulsen to jail time was extreme and should be able to “serve any jail sentence in the community as a conditional sentence,” according to the Province.
Warren also argued Paulsen was in more need of “rehabilitation” than of a jail sentence, following extreme distress since the case began.
Paulsen will return to court on January 28, where sentencing will take place and determine whether she will receive jail time, house arrest, or community service as punishment.