01/28/2015 02:29 EST | Updated 03/30/2015 05:59 EDT

Emma Paulsen, B.C. Dog Walker, Jailed For Canine Deaths

Emma Paulsen has also been handed a lifetime ban on caring for animals.

SURREY, B.C. - A Vancouver-area dog walker who admitted to leaving six dogs inside her hot truck has been sentenced to six months in jail for their deaths.

Emma Paulsen, who pleaded guilty last November to animal cruelty and mischief, was also handed on Wednesday a lifetime ban on caring for animals.

Paulsen initially said she was away from her vehicle for only a few minutes to use a washroom at a park in Langley, B.C., last May, and that when she returned the dogs were gone.

A massive search was launched by their owners and the community, and the dogs were later found dead in a Fraser Valley ditch.

Paulsen admitted to police they died from heat exhaustion.

Jennifer Myers, whose Boston terrier died in the truck, attended court to watch the sentencing. She said previously that she feared Paulsen would get a light sentence for the pain she'd caused to all the families

"I was very relieved, I mean, you can't take away what they went through, but at least this shows that, yes, it was serious and the judge really took it that way, and I think that we're all a little surprised and relieved that it's six months," said Myers.

Dog owner Colleen King said she was surprised and thrilled by the jail sentence.

"It speaks to the seriousness of what she did and her actions, and the fact that she's never apologized to any one of the owners is disgusting," said King.

The Crown called for six to 12 months in jail and a $10,000 fine, while the defence asked for a conditional sentence to be served in the community.



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