A 57-year-old Edmonton woman is facing multiple animal cruelty charges after officials seized 72 dogs that police said showed signs of severe neglect.
Supplied / Edmonton Police Service
A 57-year-old Edmonton woman is facing multiple animal cruelty charges after officials seized 72 dogs, many suffering from severe neglect, from a northeast Edmonton home, say police.City police along with Animal Care and Control went to a rural property near 247 Avenue and 18 Street on Sunday following reports from people looking to purchase puppies that the dogs were being neglected. The puppies had been posted online for sale.Most of the seized dogs were Havanese, a popular small dog breed. Police said the dogs showed signs of severe neglect and potential illness. Some of the puppies were discovered hidden in a closet and underneath a hutch.
A photo from EPS shows the condition of some of the dogs seized from a northeast Edmonton home.
The dogs are currently undergoing physical examinations at the city’s animal control facility.Becky Twerdochlib, who owns three dogs, has lived along 18th Street for 14 years. She said she never knew the accused, who lived a few short minutes down the road, and only heard about the police presence on Sunday when a houseguest told her about it.“It’s a shock to us,” she said. “We didn’t know her or anything about it. We all take care of our dogs quite well. They’re family. They protect our livestock and we treat them well.” The case of the 72 dogs marks the largest animal seizure since city peace officers took over the reins of animal protection in February.The city has four peace officers enforcing the provincial Animal Protection Act after the Edmonton Humane Society stepped away from its voluntary enforcement duty, citing a change in mandate.Council endorsed an animal welfare plan in March, costing $800,000 annually, allowing the city to continue enforcement seven days a week with the four officers.Gloria Sears is charged under both the criminal code and Animal Protection Act for causing animals to be in distress and for failing to provide adequate care. She is also facing additional charges under the Animal Protection Act, including causing an animal to be in distress, failing to provide adequate food and water, and failing to provide adequate shelter, space and ventilation.Sears is scheduled to appear in provincial court Aug. 12.Investigators are asking for other potential customers who may have visited the property to come forward. Anyone with information can contact police at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a email@example.com