Surrey resident Diane Young Hale (above

Surrey resident Diane Young Hale (above

Accused protests ‘witch hunt’ as dog-theft charges mount

Janet Olson now faces 37 of 38 charges against her and five other women, over alleged canine 'rescues.'

A White Rock woman facing dozens of dog-theft-related charges – including several new ones added to the list Wednesday – says the onslaught is going too far.

“If this isn’t a witch hunt, I don’t know what is,” a frustrated Janet Olson told Peace Arch News Thursday morning, as she reviewed a court database list that has grown to include 38 charges against numerous defendants.

“I don’t think they work this hard for sex offenders.”

Of the charges listed, Olson – who is founder of A Better Life Dog Rescue – is facing 37.

It is alleged the offences occurred across the Lower Mainland between October 27, 2006, and Nov. 21, 2011, and range from theft and fraud to break-and-enter and possess break-in instruments.

Surrey Provincial Court

Another five women – Louise Reid, Michaela Schnittker, Diane Young Hale, Christine Carter and Natalia Borojevic – are also named as facing charges in connection with the investigation, which first came to light last November. That’s when Olson and Reid were arrested, after officers with Surrey’s Property Crime Target Team reportedly observed them enter a Coquitlam backyard and walk away with a bulldog named Samson.

Olson has repeatedly admitted to media that she took Samson, explaining that a bulldog expert had advised her the dog was going to freeze to death.

However, going over the updated list of charges prior to a brief court appearance Thursday, Olson said she had no idea what many of the other charges were referencing. She was also surprised to see Young Hale and Carter had been added.

Carter, charged with theft in connection with a March 25, 2007, incident in New Westminster, “lives on oxygen and can barely get out of the house,” Olson said.

Young Hale is charged with two counts of possession of stolen property and one count of break-and-enter and commit indictable offence in connection with incidents in Langley on Aug. 1 and 2, 2011. Young Hale, a Surrey resident, declined to speak with Peace Arch News outside court.

Janet OlsonOlson, however, said those charges relate to the taking in of two stray dogs – “So if somebody finds a wallet in the street, that’s possession of stolen property?”

In court, Crown Michelle Wray told Judge Robin Baird the break-and-enter charge against Young Hale “involves cutting into the wall of a house and removing a dog, allegedly.”

Olson noted Borojevic – who is facing a charge of theft in connection with a Feb. 2, 2011, incident in Surrey – is not part of ABLDR.

Asked if Olson’s employers at Air Canada are concerned about the charges, Olson said they are not.

“They’re assuming I’m innocent till proven guilty,” she said. “I wish everybody else would do the same.”

Olson, Young Hale, Reid and Schnittker – who was not in court Thursday – are due back in court April 17. Baird deemed arrest warrants against the women executed, and released them on conditions including to have no contact with volunteers or employees of ABLDR.

Carter is scheduled to make her first appearance on May 10.


Just Posted

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

City of Mission hosting a virtual and in-person open house to explore Silverdale plan

It’s the first neighbourhood planning area of the larger Silverdale Comprehensive Planning Area

Hutch Hotels Ltd., which owned the former Alder Inn (which was demolished in November 2020), is among the defendants in a lawsuit related to an alleged impaired-driving crash in January 2017. The civil suit also names S & L Kitchen and Bar in Abbotsford. (Black Press file photo)
Two Fraser Valley bars named in lawsuit related to alleged impaired-driving crash

S & L Abbotsford and Alder Inn being sued by passenger in 2017 rollover collision

With a lot of summer traffic expected, RCMP are setting up traffic blitzes throughout the Eastern Fraser Valley to curb dangerous driving behaviour in cone zones. (Submitted by Road Safety at Work)
See orange cones? Better put down your phone!

12 roadside workers died, 207 were injured in B.C. during last 10 years

Stock photo from Pixabay
Abbotsford Police warn about scam phone calls that display their name

Caller claims victim’s identity has been compromised and they need to send money

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read