In May, a small group of protesters waited for Catherine Jessica Adams to arrive at Quesnel Law Courts. Adams was sentenced with one count of breach of probation order Tuesday, Nov. 26. Observer file photo

B.C. woman charged with breaching probation order related to animal cruelty

Catherine Jessica Adams was sentenced Nov. 26 in Quesnel Law Courts

A convicted animal abuser in B.C. was sentenced with breaching her probation order Tuesday (Nov. 26) in Quesnel.

Catherine Jessica Adams, 26, appeared in the Quesnel Law Courts for a pre-sentence report and was sentenced to seven days in jail and two years probation for one count of breach of probation order.

In July, Adams was found guilty of breaching her probation conditions in relation to animal cruelty charges. She last appeared in Quesnel Law Courts July 16 for a continuation of her trial for a breach of probation charge. She first appeared in court for trial on May 16, and the trial ran long, requiring a continuation.

Adams was first charged with breaching her probation order on June 29, 2018, according to files accessed via B.C. Court Services Online.

The probation order prohibited her from owning or having custody of an animal.

Catherine — along with her mother Karin Adams — had 16 dogs seized from a property in Quesnel in June 2018, after a BC SPCA investigation found the dogs were being kept in crates too small for their size in a poorly-ventilated area with little or no access to water and with feces- and urine-soaked matting.

Catherine’s probation order was a condition of her 2015 sentencing in Smithers Provincial Court, where she was found guilty of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal and causing/permitting the animal to be in distress.

Emaciation, poor living conditions, parasite infestation, lack of food, water and medical treatment were among the conditions affecting some of the dogs and horses in Catherine and Karin’s care at the time.

In November 2018, Catherine was sentenced to 90 days in jail after she was convicted of animal cruelty charges in Drumheller, Alta.

Catherine and her mother were charged after police found 11 horses, 25 dogs and 17 birds in distress at their home near the village of Hanna, northeast of Calgary, in 2015.

Quesnel resident Fritz Wyssen was outside the courthouse when Catherine was sentenced and has been following the case since the Adamses were first charged.

“As cases go on long and this case was a breach of probation, some of the ladies who are locals gathered a group together and we wanted to make sure we were showing support to our justice system,” he said. “Justice needed to be served to these individuals that continually broke the law and breached their probation and stuff like that so we wanted to show our support.

“I’ve been here [the Quesnel courthouse] three times. We had our protest signs to advise the community of what’s going on. There are ones [communities] from northern B.C. to Alberta that are watching this case, and we wanted to make sure that information was getting to them as quickly as possible and from a first-hand point of view. Right now, all of our members are inside, the courtroom is packed, to find out about this pre-sentencing report and whether or not the case goes into sentencing today or not or when that’s is going to happen so that all those that are following this [case] on social media or news media can find out exactly what’s going on, and hopefully we will be seeing a result of a punishment.”

Wyssen belongs to a group called Rally for Paws, which was created by concerned citizens in Quesnel. They have a Facebook group page and a Facebook event.

Wyssen says the group hopes the “fullest extent of the law that is available in court systems” can be used to charge Adams appropriately.

“Right now, it is a single individual that is on trial, but we have known them to be a part of a group and they have continually broken and disregarded the law and tried to use it to their purposes and use it against justice,” he said. “So let’s see the court system hand out a judgment that will stop them from obtaining animals illegally and from harming animals. Animals should not be under [the Adams’] care whatsoever.

“They have tried to twist that ‘what does it mean to be under care,’ but no animal should ever be near these people, and they have shown that they can’t take care of them. They’ve shown that they harm them, and for whatever reason, they just don’t have the ability to take care of an animal.”

— with a file from Sasha Sefter

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