wild horses in albertaVANCOUVER, May 1, 2009 – “The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is offering a $1,000 reward for information resulting in the conviction of those responsible for the deaths of three wild horses near Sundre, Alberta (AB)” says Al Hickey, Western Regional Director for The Humane Society of Canada (HSC).

As reported in the news, one of the mares was pregnant at the time she was shot, and that there was evidence that she went into labour due to the trauma. A yearling foal and a two to three year old stallion were also shot. According to police reports, the horses were shot from a nearby road, on the afternoon of April 29th.

A total of twenty two wild horses have been shot in Alberta since 2005. The Humane Society of Canada has offered similar a reward for the shooting of four wild horses in January 2007, for the attack of seven horses at the Mitchell Centre for Equine Rescue and Education near Vulcan, AB in 2004, the shootings of four horses in Alberta 2003 and for the shooting of a three-year-old, female Pinto pony in Arden, Ontario in 2002. “In the last two cases the murderers were found, convicted, fined and given a prison sentence. We’re hoping that those responsible for these acts of cruelty in Alberta are also apprehended and dealt with accordingly,” says The HSC Chairman & CEO Michael O’Sullivan.

The Humane Society of Canada will be asking the court to bar any of those found guilty from owning or working with any animals, including livestock, on their property, and will also ask the court to force them to surrender all firearms, and ban them from owning firearms, for as long as the law will allow. Any vehicles used in the commission of a criminal offence could also be forfeit, and if two or more people planned the horse killings, they can also be charged with criminal conspiracy.

“Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence,” says O’Sullivan. “Recent changes to the Canadian Criminal Code mean that offenders face maximum penalties of up to 5 years in prison for indictable offences and for summary convictions - fines of up to $10,000 and up to eighteen months in jail. In addition to the criminal record and fines, the person convicted can also be prohibited from owning, having the custody or control of or residing in the same premises as an animal or a bird for any period that the court considers appropriate but, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, for a minimum of five years. Damages may be awarded by the court to the person or organization that had to pay for the care of the animal as a result of the offence.”

O’Sullivan who has worked with horses all of his life says: “These acts cannot go unpunished. Anyone who has any information about these cases must step forward and inform the proper authorities,” who asks people to contact the RCMP in Sundre at 403-638-3675 or The Humane Society of Canada at 416-368-0405.

Anyone who would like to donate to The Humane Society of Canada’s Victims of Cruelty Reward Program to help solve crimes against animals and nature can contact the organization at 1-800-641-5463 or through their website at www.humanesociety.com

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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