08/15/2012 10:46 EDT | Updated 10/15/2012 05:12 EDT

Debra Holden Accused Of Throwing Dogs Into Campfire

A B.C. woman faces animal cruelty charges after northern Alberta RCMP say she threw two dogs into a campfire.

Someone called police to report animals being mistreated at the Nitehawk Recreational Area campground on July 7, according to the Edmonton Journal.

Officers arrived to find a small dog and a kennel burning in a firepit. They say a second dog who ran into the woods is presumed dead. Police do not know the dogs’ breeds.

A woman, who police believe had been drinking and fighting with her husband, was arrested. Debra Holden, 53, of Fort St. John, B.C. has been charged with two counts of injuring or endangering animals and two counts of causing animals unnecessary suffering.

The charges carry maximum penalties of up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000.

Cpl. Roy Kennedy of the Grande Prairie RCMP told the Toronto Sun that police did not release details of the case earlier due to fears of public backlash against the accused.

The remains of the dog who died in the fire will be examined to determine if the animal was alive and if it was inside the kennel when it was thrown into the flames, said the Journal.

Last month, the B.C. SPCA recommended charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after Captain, a German shepherd dog, was found beaten and dying in a Vancouver dumpster. The dog's owner Brian Whitlock was questioned about the matter by police after he was arrested on unrelated charges of criminal harassment.