Owner of McBride horses charged with three counts of animal cruelty

Many of our readers followed this story over Christmas in the media. For those of you who were interested in the fate of these two horses, this is ?The rest of the story.?

Frank Mackay, the owner of two horses abandoned in McBride, B.C., in December 2008, has been charged with three counts of animal cruelty, following a BC SPCA investigation. The charges include two counts under the Criminal Code of Canada and one count under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The dramatic December 23 rescue of the three-year-old mare named Belle and the 14-year-old gelding named Sundance made national headlines after volunteers spent a week shoveling a one-kilometre trench through the snow to save the abandoned horses. The BC SPCA took the rescued horses into care in late December and determined that they would not be returned to Mackay.

?We placed the horses in temporary foster care where they received ongoing veterinary care until they were ready to be adopted,? said Shawn Eccles, the BC SPCA?s chief animal protection officer. He noted that the horses were malnourished and were suffering from rain scald and other medical issues as a result of exposure to the freezing temperatures. ?Earlier this month they were placed in permanent homes in Prince George and Kamloops.?

Mackay makes his first court appearance in McBride on June 12. If convicted of the charges, he faces a maximum fine of $10,000, up to five years in jail and a prohibition on owning animals.

The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization which depends primarily on donations to carry out cruelty investigations and to provide care for nearly 40,000 abused, injured, neglected and abandoned animals each year. If you can help, please visit spca.bc.ca/help for details.

The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public donations. Our mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.