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Armstrong man gets longest jail time for animal cruelty in B.C. history

A man from Armstrong has been given the longest jail sentence for animal cruelty in B.C. history.

Gary Roberts, 69, was sentenced on March 14th to a 20-year prohibition on owning animals, four months of house arrest and a nine-month conditional sentence.

This sentence came after 16 emaciated horses were seized from his property in December 2016 by BC SPCA animal protection officers.

However, this month his sentence changed from conditional prison time to nine months in prison after he breached his conditions on March 23rd.

<who> Photo Credit: BC SPCA

"On April 12 he was back in court and the judge handed down the strongest sentence possible, noting that Roberts had shown a blatant disregard for his court order," said Kathy Woodward, BC SPCA animal protection officer.

The horses taken from Robert's property in Armstrong were treated but some of them didn't make it as many of them barely registered on the body conditioning scale.

"Some of them were a .5 on the scale of one to nine and three of the horses had to be humanely euthanized because they were in critical distress," said Woodward.

While 16 emaciated horses were removed from the property, 30 still remain. Officer Woodward is working with family and friends to care for the other 30 horses while Roberts is in prison.

According to the BC SPCA, unless there are definite signs of animal cruelty, animals cannot be removed from a person's property.

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