Animal rights activists gathered outside Red Deer’s courthouse on Friday where a woman facing charges related to harbouring distressed dogs made an appearance.
Red Deer Animal Rights Advocates wants federal and provincial laws changed to declare companion animals as sentient beings. They want to see higher care standards and stiffer penalties for animal abusers.
A spokeswoman, who did not want to be identified, said they do not believe that animals should be sold as pets.
“I don’t feel they should be for sale any more than humans should be for sale.”
Activists also want to see pet stores banned from buying animals from breeders. Animals should come from shelters, she said.
Inside the courthouse, Karin Leeanna Adams was making a first appearance on four charges of breaching court conditions. She remains in custody and is due back in court on those charges as well as others on Tuesday.
Adams is also facing a number of charges in connection with an incident in Innisfail in July that saw police seize eight distressed dogs from a hotel room.
It is alleged that Adams had the dogs despite court-imposed conditions to not possess animals. Adams is also facing charges of impersonating a police officer, mischief, criminal harassment, intimidation of a justice system participant and breaches of release conditions.
She also faces a pair of Traffic Safety Act charges.
Adams and her daughter, Catherine, are currently under a 20-year ban from owning animals in that province, dating from a 2015 case in Houston, B.C.
The animal rights activist said her group intends to show up at each of Adams’ court appearances. They hope their efforts will send a message why changes to the laws around animals are needed.