A Horsefly resident was sentenced in Williams Lake Provincial Court Monday after pleading guilty to causing an animal to continue to be in distress.
Justice Peter Whyte sentenced 60-year-old Jeannette Keeping to a 10-year prohibition on owning any livestock animals.
Keeping is however allowed to own no more than 12 chickens at any time as well as no more than 5 cats and dogs at any time.
Whyte also sentenced Keeping to a $2,500 fine to be paid by December 1, 2019.
Keeping received a stay of proceedings for two other charges including causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal, and failing to provide necessaries for an animal.
Keeping’s Horsefly property was the subject of three seizures by the BC SPCA in 2016.
Between February 3, 2016, and March 11, 2016, the Society attended Keeping’s property several times, issuing multiple orders.
The Society filed an ITO (Intent to Obtain a Search Warrant) to be executed on March 15, 2016, which was granted and executed, due to the Society’s opinion and belief that animals at the Keeping’s property were in distress and deprived of adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary treatment.
A total of 103 animals were seized:
- March 15, 2016 seizure: 15 cows, 6 chickens, 6 rabbits, 22 sheep
- April 26, 2016 seizure: 9 goats, 4 llamas, 3 pigs, 1 sheep
- April 28, 2016 seizure: 25 chickens, 8 ducks, 2 geese, 1 horse and 1 llama
In addition, 10 chickens, 2 calves, 9 rabbits and 2 lambs were born in custody and 2 seized animals (rabbits) died in custody.
The British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board on June 22, 2016, ordered the BC SPCA to keep all of the animals with Keeping to pay $31,501.33 to the BC SPCA as the reasonable care costs incurred by the Society.
“This is an exceptionally sad case,” said British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board Presiding Member Corey Van’t Haaff in a 33-page decision.
“The Appellant (Keeping) had a considerable number of animals on her property and cared for them by herself. She had some financial constraints, could not get adequate quantities of good quality food, and at times had limited access to water. The Appellant believed that a neighbour had caused her recent difficulties by preventing the Appellant from accessing adequate feed, by causing her personal injury, and by contacting the Society.”
“The Appellant often had to make difficult choices, including choosing to provide water to her animals by not consuming water herself. The Appellant professed a deep love for all her animals, referring to them as family.”