Fine and five-year prohibition for neglecting horses

February 21, 2012, Drayton Valley

Patricia Lynn Moore was found guilty in Drayton Valley provincial court of allowing horses in her care to be in distress. She was fined $1,500 and prohibited from owning or caring for more than two horses for a period of five years.

As part of her sentence, Moore must provide the Alberta SPCA with a written veterinary report on the condition of her two remaining horses. She must also provide the horses with regular veterinary check-ups throughout the period of the prohibition order. The Alberta SPCA will have unrestricted access to those veterinary records. In addition, Moore must provide the Alberta SPCA with photographs and locations of all other animals in her care.

Moore’s conviction is the result of an investigation the Alberta SPCA began in January 2010. Following a complaint to the Alberta SPCA’s Animal Protection Services, a peace officer inspected a herd of horses on a large bush pasture near Carrot Creek. He immediately saw that at least one of the horses, a mare with a colt, was in extremely poor body condition. There was evidence of bales having been delivered to the horses, but only scraps remained at the time of his visit. He also saw the skeleton of a young horse lying near the feed area.

After subsequent visits to the pasture and discussions with Moore and other subjects, the peace officer determined that Moore was not providing the horses with adequate food. When it became clear that Moore wasn't going to correct the situation, the peace officer obtained a search warrant.

On February 16, 2010, acting on the advice of veterinarians that the horses were in distress, the Alberta SPCA seized 16 horses and removed them from the property. A veterinarian also performed an autopsy on a dead horse found at the time of the seizure. It was a pregnant mare that was determined to have died during labour as a result of her poor body condition.

Moore’s conviction is for violating section 2(1) of the Animal Protection Act: “No person shall cause or permit an animal of which the person is the owner or the person in charge to be or to continue to be in distress.”

The prohibition order is in force until February 21, 2017. The terms of the prohibition order may be reviewed in two years.