Animal cruelty charges against a Victoria woman whose Boston terrier died after being left in her hot car for seven hours have been stayed.
Stephanie Skinner, 35, faced one charge of ‘causing an animal to continue to be in distress’ after her dog Ava died on July 23, 2018 while locked in her hot car for seven hours in Langford.
According to the BC SPCA, temperatures reached up to 30 degrees that day. The organization called the incident “tragic and preventable.”
“Every year, the BC SPCA and other animal welfare groups warn people about the dangers of leaving their pets in hot cars,” said a March 2019 statement from Eileen Drever, stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA. “Even 10 minutes in a hot, unventilated car can be fatal for an animal – an animal left for seven hours in those temperatures would not have stood a chance.”
The stayed charge means Crown counsel has discontinued prosecution but the charge could be brought back within one year. According to the BC Prosecution Service, the charge was stayed because Skinner successfully completed a restorative justice program. The prosecution service says there will be no further proceedings on the matter.
The cruelty charge could have resulted in up to two years in prison, a $75,000 fine and a lifetime ban on pet ownership.
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