A woman connected with animal neglect cases in Saskatchewan and Alberta has reportedly made her way to Jamaica.
April Irving, 57, made headlines in Saskatchewan back in 2010 after over 80 dogs were taken from her property near Foam Lake.
That incident led a Saskatchewan judge to impose a 10-year-ban on Irving owning any more than two dogs.
Irving was then charged with animal neglect-related offences in Alberta in 2015. At that time, 200 dogs were taken from her home near Milk River.
RCMP issued arrest warrants for April Irving last week, noting that she had been missing since failing to appear in a Lethbridge, Alta. courtroom in June 2016. At that time, they said they believed she was staying somewhere in Western Canada.
Debbie Lightheart, a Canadian woman who operates a small animal clinic in Negrin, Jamaica said Irving brought in two emaciated dogs back in October or November 2016.
“(Irving is) obviously mentally ill, and then was calling and ranting and raving and telling the vets what to do,” she said.
Lightheart said her contacts at other clinics around the island have also had contact with Irving, who was apparently using a different first name. She said word has now spread through the country’s veterinary community.
“It’s been all over Facebook here. It’s all over the island now. It’s just a matter of time of finding her,” she said.
While Lightheart said she was shocked and disappointed to learn of Irving’s history in Canada, she said she’s having a hard time mustering any ill will towards her.
“I know people would like me to be mad at her. I mean, I’m not really impressed — we have enough animal issues here in Jamaica. But, obviously, the woman is mentally ill,” she said.
Lightheart said she doesn’t have any doubt that Irving will turn up again.
“I would just like her to be deported from our country. Find out where she’s living, make sure there’s no more animals and send her back to Canada. Hopefully she’ll get some help for her mental illness that obviously causes her to do this.”
–With files from Brent Bosker