The RCMP have laid animal abuse charges against a New Brunswick woman who left the country, allegedly leaving four of her pets to fend for themselves.

Police say Deborah Louise Andrews, who now lives in Alberta, has been cooperating with investigators.

“We have now laid a charge of causing suffering to an animal against a 36-year-old woman from Harvey Station,” confirms RCMP Cpl. Chantal Farrah.

Last fall, Andrews allegedly left four of her pets alone when she went on a vacation to the Dominican Republic.

Two dead dogs, a dead rabbit and a malnourished cat were found in her Harvey Station home in September.

Now that charges have been laid in the case, the SPCA confirms Andrews gave them a statement and informed them last fall that she would be leaving the province and moving to Alberta.

“She was cooperative, although she did move out of province, she did tell us she was moving and gave us her forwarding address,” says animal protection officer Denise Potvin.

However, the SPCA is concerned about what would have happened if Andrews had left the province without notice.

She can answer to the charges in Alberta, but if she chooses not to, it doesn’t necessarily mean an arrest warrant will be issued.

“Criminal Code warrants normally, unless it is a charge of murder or serial sexual assault, they’re not usually something that is a Canada-wide warrant, it’d be just for the province,” says Potvin.

Potvin would like to see that change, but says it would have to come through those with political power.

“We can only enforce legislation, but we can only work with what’s there and if it is weak, it needs to be changed,” says Potvin. “The Criminal Code for animal cruelty is definitely very weak.”

A court date not been set.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore