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UPDATE: Women arrested in connection to animal welfare investigation

Tara Jeffrey Two Sarnia area women linked to an animal welfare investigation in Barrie were arrested Wednesday and face several charges, police say.
Sarnia Police

Tara Jeffrey

Two Sarnia area women linked to an animal welfare investigation in Barrie were arrested Wednesday and face several charges, police say.

Earlier this week, Barrie Police had issued arrest warrants for a mother and daughter from the Sarnia area after the discovery of several animals in poor health in a hotel parking lot.

“Yesterday morning, the two women attended the Sarnia Police Service where they were arrested and each charged with causing unnecessary suffering and two counts of causing damage or injury, contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada,” Barrie Police said Thursday. “They were released a short time later and are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice located in Barrie on March 22, 2022.”

The investigation began after police say they received a complaint from a citizen reporting the animals were being kept in two motor vehicles parked at a hotel on Byne Drive in Barrie.

“It was evident that a number of the animals were ill and required immediate veterinary care,” a news release noted. “Three dogs were surrendered to the OSPCA Barrie Animal Centre and one, a German Shepherd, required emergency surgery to remove a foreign body from its stomach.

“The female owners of the animals involved in this investigation were evasive and have manipulated the kindness of a number of local agencies and church organizations to obtain supplies and financial support for what appears to have been nothing more than part of elaborate scheme that was based upon a number of mistruths,” police added.

“Barrie Police followed up on the welfare of the animals and the two females who owned them, but it would appear as if they left Barrie without paying the surgical costs that saved the life of the very ill German Shepherd. This dog remains now in the care of the Barrie OSPCA.”

The Barrie Police department thanked the Sarnia Police Service, the Barrie OSPCA, the Ministry of the Solicitor General Animal Welfare Services, and “concerned community members,” for their assistance.