With a history of animal abuse dating back to 2009, a Vernon area woman is again being investigated by the BC SPCA after concerns over emaciated farm animals on her property.
Carla Christman pleaded guilty to one count of failing to provide necessities for animals in 2012. At the time she had been facing a number of charges including causing animals to be in distress, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, assaulting a peace officer and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer.
The remainder of the charges were stayed.
In 2009, BC SPCA had discovered 28 thin and emaciated horses languishing with untreated injuries on a property outside of Vernon; along with 39 terrier mix dog and puppies and four cats inside an unventilated area. One pig and a llama were also taken from Christman’s property.
Christman was given a suspended sentence and placed probation for two years.
Now, social media posts are full of concern for animals currently on the same property allegedly still owned by Christman.
Brenda Tonasket-Conn posted that she regularly drives up to the property on Irish Creek Road to check on the horses.
“One of these skinny mares has a foal that is nursing on her, OMG! The cow has a horn that is dangerously close to its eye, poor thing,” she wrote online.
She then pleaded with the public to call the BC SPCA cruelty hotline and report the abuse.
Lorie Chortyk with the BC SPCA explained they are giving the owner the opportunity to rectify the situation first.
“Orders for changes have been issued and the situation is being monitored by our constables,” she stated.
Currently, Christman is not in violation of any of the court orders that were a result of the 2009 case, according to the BC SPCA.
“If we have to seize animals again and charges are approved, the courts would take into consideration her past conviction and plea,” explained Chorrtyk. “However, as substantial time has passed since the last infraction, we do not have much leverage under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to shorten the ‘reasonable time’ that is required to provide an owner.”
If the animals on Christman’s property meet the definition of distress and steps are not taken to rectify this, further action will be taken, which could include, but not limited to, seizure and recommendation of charges.