Norquays given conditional discharge in death of dogs

A man and woman from Williams Lake got conditional discharges and 12 months probation after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges.

A man and woman from Williams Lake were given conditional discharges and 12 months probation after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges in the death of their two small dogs almost two years ago.

In his decision Monday, Provincial Court Judge R. Dennis Morgan said the case against Ryan Norquay and Trish Norquay lacked evidence that animal cruelty led to the death of their shih tzus in February of 2014.

Morgan said the Norquays were trying to alleviate the dogs’ suffering and pain when they stopped eating, but noted they fell short by failing to take the dogs to a veterinarian when it should have become apparent that their efforts to care for the dogs themselves wasn’t working.

Morgan said mitigating circumstances for his decision were that the Norquays showed genuine remorse, entered guilty pleas, did not have criminal records and had a history of caring for pets properly.

During the trial the court heard about the Norquays personal circumstances at the time of the dogs’ deaths.

Both were doing shift work at a local mine and Trish was also working part-time at a pub and liquor store and as a bookkeeper.

The former couple were also in the midst of a divorce.

Morgan sentenced the Norquays to 20 hours of community work, either at the SPCA or their children’s school, and ordered them to donate $500 to the BCSPCA Williams Lake branch and provide proof of payment.

Neither of them were banned from owning animals.

Outside the court house Trish told the Tribune it has been a rough two years for the family.

“When the charges and trial were in the media I really wanted to speak out,” she said, noting people were very critical of them on social media.

“I wished if people had questions they would call me. Those dogs were like family to us.”