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Woman charged with throwing dogs in fire

Aug. 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alberta, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The Mounties said they withheld news of charges against a woman accused of throwing two dogs into a campfire to protect her safety in a small Alberta town.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they responded to a midday emergency call to a campsite near Grande Prairie in central-western Alberta July 7.

Witnesses alleged there had been a domestic dispute between a man and a woman and she had thrown two dogs into the burning fire pit, the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune reported.

They found one charred carcass in the pit and speculated the second dog had escaped the pit and run into the forest, but its body was never found.

Officers said the woman was clearly intoxicated and the man she had been arguing with had left before police arrived.

Debra Holden, 53, faces two charges of injuring or endangering animals and two charges of causing animals unnecessary suffering.

RCMP Cpl. Roy Kennedy told the newspaper the incident and the woman's name were withheld for more than a month to protect her.

"Pet owners can be very passionate and it is a very small community -- we were concerned about the backlash that the individual would face," he said

He gave no reason for the decision to publicize the event now.

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