While a Vernon woman facing animal cruelty charges was in court Monday, neighbour Brenda Tonasket (right), Betty Dolinski and Tennille Burr protested outside the Vernon Courthouse. (Karissa Gall - Black Press)

While a Vernon woman facing animal cruelty charges was in court Monday, neighbour Brenda Tonasket (right), Betty Dolinski and Tennille Burr protested outside the Vernon Courthouse. (Karissa Gall - Black Press)

UPDATE: Christman animal cruelty matter adjourned

Carla Christman appeared in court to request care and control over seized dogs

UPDATE: 3:50 p.m. Monday, June 10

The applications of a North Okanagan mother and daughter to vary bail conditions related to animal cruelty charges were adjourned in Vernon court today.

Carla Christman and her daughter Chelsea Christman-Beluse are each facing a charge of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal, failing to provide necessities for an animal and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer. Carla is also facing a charge of dangerous operation of a conveyance.

A total of 43 horses, plus four dogs and four hogs, were seized from Christman’s Irish Creek Road property in March 2019.

Carla appeared in court at 2 p.m. in a wheelchair to represent herself. She told Provincial Court Judge Richard Hewson that she submitted her application in order to have care and control over the four seized dogs again.

Chelsea, who did not attend, was represented by defence lawyer Joe Deuling.

Deuling said that he had just been retained and suggested that Chelsea’s application be adjourned to a later date.

Despite this, Carla said she preferred to proceed with her application because “the dogs really do want to have contact with [them].”

Carla said the dogs have been returned to the care of a friend and are being held in kennels.

“It’s not fair to them to leave them in that situation,” she said.

However, Hewson said that if Chelea’s application was being adjourned, Carla’s should also be adjourned since they are similar.

The matters were put over to the provincial case manager’s office on June 19 to fix a new date for proceedings.

ORIGINAL STORY: 1:45 p.m. Monday, June 10

A North Okanagan woman, and her daughter, applied to vary bail conditions related to animal cruelty charges in Vernon court today.

Carla Christman and Chelsea Christman-Beluse are each facing a charge of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal, failing to provide necessities for an animal and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer. Carla is also facing a charge of dangerous operation of a conveyance.

A total of 43 horses, plus four dogs and four hogs, were seized from Christman’s Irish Creek Road property in March 2019.

See: Horses, pigs and dogs rescued from Vernon property

Their applications to change their bail conditions, so that they can own animals again, came before B.C. Provincial Court on Monday at 2 p.m.

Meanwhile outside, a rally at the courthouse saw a small group protesting the Christmans from owning animals.

Brenda Tonasket organized the small rally on short notice and said she will be here every time they appear in court going forward. She is the Christmans’ neighbour, who lives two miles away, and reported them to the SPCA in February before the SPCA laid charges in December.

Once a week she said she drives up and takes pictures of their horses.

“Two times is bad enough. Can’t have a third time of animal abuse,” said Tonasket.

See: Fire destroys home belonging to North Okanagan woman under BC SPCA investigation

Christman has a history of animal abuse dating back to 2009 and in 2012 pleaded guilty to one count of failing to provide necessities for animals.

See: BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions


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