A St. John’s attorney has taken the somewhat unusual step of issuing a media advisory about a new trial date for one of his clients.
Stephen Marshall, of the firm Roebothan McKay Marshall, issued a press release Monday advising news editors of a “new development” that will speed up the case against Gwen Samms.
Samms, the president of the Stephenville Society for the Care and Protection of Animals (SCAPA), was charged with theft under $5,000 on March 20, 2013 after the RCMP issued a warrant for the return of a dog entrusted into the society’s care.
The trial date was scheduled for March 28 but, “ ... has been rescheduled due to new developments in the case,” Marshall’s release says.
Instead, Samms will appear in Stephenville Provincial Court today at 9:30 a.m.
On the day the warrant was issued for the dog’s return, six weeks had passed since the owner had been told he could have the animal back, but the husky had not been claimed.
In light of the standard 72-hour holding period, Samms told The Western Star it was her understanding the dog was now the property of the society.
However, the only group included in the 72-hour rule under the provincial Animal Health and Protection Act, is the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).