*Warning this story contains graphic content
A general search warrant has been served by the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and was left at the property of a Lakelander by Alberta Peace Officer Emma J. Fillion where over ten horses were allegedly starved to death by the owner and found frozen into the ground on the property.
The property was searched on February 18, after complaints were received that Jamie Ann Palmer failed to provide the necessities of life to the animals.
The warrant was left attached to the barb wire fence on the property and read that Palmer failed to ensure that the animals had adequate food and water, contrary to section 2.1(a) of the Animal Protection Act. According to the warrant Palmer allegedly did cause the horses to be or continue to be in distress, contrary to section 2(1) of the animal protection act.
The warrant was also used to inspect the property to prove that Palmer failed to ensure that the animals had adequate care when the animal is wounded or ill, contrary to Section 2.1(b) of the Animal Protection Act of Alberta.
The warrant for the search was signed by Judge Joyce L. Lester.
Reeve of the MMunicipal District of Bonnyville (MD), Barry Kalinski, told Lakeland Connect a concerned resident came forward two weeks ago with the complaint to him and he passed it along to the proper authorities and the Alberta SPCA.
Reeve Kalinski said a front-end loader was used by the MD to remove the dead animals from the field after they had to plow the snow on the field to get where the horses were kept. Not all horses on the property owned by Palmer were dead but a majority of them were.
“They were starved to death,” Reeve Kalinski said.
Reeve Kalinski wasn’t given the total number of dead horses removed by the MD of Bonnyville and the Alberta SPCA but says it was over ten animals.
It is unclear if any live animals were removed by the Alberta SPCA from the ranch.
Lakeland Connect went to inspect the property west of La Corey near Iron River that was searched and found the remains of a dead foal frozen into the ground along with other horse carcasses which are now being eaten by scavenger animals.
The dead animals were frozen into the ground just metres from a stack of fenced hay which is used for bedding for the animals. Lakeland Connect has learned from a resident that the owner had some hay bales just across the fence from where the animals were kept but Palmer allegedly failed to open the gate to let the animals eat.
According to a resident who lives near the ranch, whose name we have protected, this isn’t the first time the owner Palmer has been investigated for animal neglect.
“She has been investigated in the past for not feeding the horses,” the resident said. “Horses in terrible conditions, caged in small pens 24/7 for months on end. Horses left in winter blankets well into July/August- imagine being stuck in your parka in plus 30 without a stitch of shade. Over the last few years, she’s been reported for animal cruelty multiple times, and nothing ever been done, the same thing as this year.”
Lakeland Connect has learned that Palmer has an additional property in Iron River an acreage where she lives and has more horses not being cared for.
“The other neighbor has been feeding them periodically at his own expense as he can’t watch them starve,” a concerned resident told Lakeland Connect. “Similar conditions where there are stacks of feed to give the impression that she is feeding them.”
According to information on the warrant, the Alberta SPCA has removed exhibits they believe will provide evidence that may result in charges. Any dead animals collected will have their femur bones removed and sent to a lab to determine through analysis the exact cause of death. Samples of the feed found on the property were also seized to determine the quality.
As a result of analysis and investigation, charges may be laid against Jamie Ann Palmer for violations of the Animal Protection Act of Alberta.
Lakeland Connect reached out to the Alberta RCMP, Alberta SPCA and to Jamie Ann Palmer with questions about the investigation. Our calls have not been returned.
As this is a developing story we will bring you more information when available.
Correction* for video posted prior to this story on LLC social media, the warrant left at the property was a search warrant and not a warrant for Palmer’s arrest