UPDATE: On February 4, 2019, Robert Hugh Cornell was also charged with regard to the Alberta SPCA investigation. He faces a total of 27 charges, with nine charges each of causing an animal to be in distress, failing to provide adequate food and water, and failing to provide adequate care when an animal is ill or wounded.

ORIGINAL POST: Patricia Lynn Moore made headlines at the beginning of January, when 65 horses and six dogs were removed from her property. She was charged by both the Alberta SPCA and the RCMP for cruelty against animals, but Moore is no stranger to the court system.

In 2002, Moore filed suit against the Alberta SPCA and a peace officer, claiming $1.5-million in punitive damages, as she “suffered economic loss by reason of dogs having been seized” by the officer. The suit was dismissed. A search on the Canadian Legal Information Institute Database reveals multiple court cases involving Moore, in situations ranging from disputes with landlords to those regarding animals.

In 2007, Moore was deemed a “vexatious litigant.” As quoted in O’Neill v. Deacons, 2007 ABQB 754: “She [Moore] has persistently abused the processes of the Courts of Alberta for improper purposes.”

Fast forward 10 years, to 2012, and Moore was found guilty by the Drayton Valley provincial court of allowing horses in her care to be in distress. Alberta SPCA took 16 horses from the property; an autopsy performed on a deceased horse determined that the mare died during labour due to her poor body condition.

At that time, she was fined $1,500, and banned from owning or caring for more than two horses for a period of five years – an order that she did not abide by. “We did report Ms. Moore to the RCMP during the period of her prohibition for not providing regular updates on the animals on her property,” said Dan Kobe, communications manager for the Alberta SPCA.

Sixty-five horses were removed from the property. Photo by Brenda Belanger

Sixty-five horses were removed from the property. Photo courtesy of Brenda Belanger

Last fall, Bobilee Abbey, a former friend of Moore, says she was keeping five horses at the woman’s property temporarily, and that they had arrangements to purchase additional horses together. At the beginning of September, she says everything was fine, but soon after she was forced to report Moore to the Alberta SPCA and the RCMP.

“My gelding went onto [Patricia’s] property with the rest of my horses, on September 4th,” she said. “No money was discussed or set up for boarding fees. She said there’s lots of grass [on her property] and not to worry about paying until snow flies.

“Everything was great, until I was trying to make arrangements to pick up a new mare I purchased and [Patricia] started getting pushy about getting her onto her property. I stopped sending her money for horses we were supposed to buy, and I started dropping food off instead, as I had stopped trusting her.

“When I got my horses back November 31st, all but my pony were underweight and my gelding was hours away from death. He was lethargic and you could see every bone on his body. People have been asking why I didn’t check on them, but I was not allowed on her property for whatever reason or another.

“She tried to steal my mare, claiming she was dangerous. I had RCMP escort friends to pick the mare up, which resulted in [Patricia] being charged with theft, obstruction and assault with a weapon on a police officer. That was December 9th.”

Abbey says these charges “opened the door for her to be charged criminally, and the RCMP was able to seize her animals, charging her with a total of 63 criminal charges of causing an animal unnecessary suffering or death.”

Multiple Charges
Currently, there are two different sets of charges against Moore – one set from the Alberta SPCA and one from the Evansburg RCMP – which relate to animals on two different properties.

The Alberta SPCA has laid 27 charges each against Moore and Ross Andrew Atkinson, the reported owner of the farm the horses were removed from earlier this year. The charges are for causing an animal to be in distress, failing to provide adequate food and/or water, and failing to provide adequate care for a sick animal. The two will appear before Evansburg court on March 11, 2019, for these charges.

As for the RCMP – Moore is facing 63 charges of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain to animals. Atkinson is also facing 63 charges of the same.

So all in all – Moore and Atkinson have been charged with cruelty to no less than 90 animals, all of which are horses.

Brenda Belanger, a concerned citizen that is a member of the horse industry, who has been following the case said: “The difference between this time and the last time is that Ross Atkinson has been charged as well. Previously, they claimed that Patricia Moore did not live on the farm, that Ross did, and she lived in Edmonton; when, in actuality, Ross owned the farm and lived in Edmonton, while [Patricia] lived on the farm.”

Belanger said she would like to see “a lifetime ban of owning ANY living thing. And a sentence of six months in jail for each of the 65 horses, plus the deceased horses on the other properties; and an automatic one-year per animal for failing to comply with the prohibition order.”