Second person charged after horses found dead, starving on Alberta acreage

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A second person is facing animal cruelty charges following an investigation of dead and starving horses on an acreage west of Edmonton.

Ross Andrew Atkinson, 50, is charged with three counts of permitting or causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals, RCMP said in a news release Monday. 

Atkinson, a resident of Parkland County, was released from custody after a bail hearing, RCMP said. He is set to appear in Evansburg provincial court on Jan. 14.

Atkinson’s charges are in relation to three horses found dead on the property, RCMP said.

RCMP began an investigation after receiving a complaint in early December about starving horses on a property near Entwistle. The Alberta SPCA is conducting a separate investigation.

Patricia Lynn Moore, 48, was arrested on her property on Jan. 4. She is charged with three counts of permitting or causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals.

Moore, who has a previous conviction for cruelty to animals, was released on bail pending her next court appearance.  

Police could not confirm how many horses were at the acreage or whether they have been removed from the property.

Brenda Belanger works in the equine industry and said there are between 50 and 70 horses on the property.

She said she saw two dead horses on Moore’s property on Dec. 20 and reported it to police. Since 2010, neighbours have raised concerns about the state of the horses on the property, Belanger said.

“Any type of animal neglect and abuse, it’s not acceptable. It’s appalling,” she said.

One of the dead horses Belanger says she saw on the property on Dec. 20. (Supplied/Brenda Belanger)

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