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Elrose woman loses bid to keep seized animals
Emily Baron Cadloff, CTV Saskatoon
Published Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:56PM CST
Elrose woman Delores LaPlante has lost her bid to get back dozens of animals.
The Saskatchewan SPCA seized more than 70 animals from her shelter earlier this month. The judge's decision came down late Thursday afternoon.
The court decided that the SPCA didn't break any rules, according to either The Animal Protection Act of 1999 or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. LaPlante and her lawyers had previously argued that animal protection officers obtained a search warrant under false pretenses, but Madame Justice Dovell dismissed those charges.
The judgment states that the animals were most certainly in distress, and the animal protection officer had a legitimate reason to attend to LaPlante's residence to seize the 64 cats, seven turtles, one dog, and one iguana.
A veterinary report written shortly after the animals were seized discusses the conditions they were found in. One green iguana was found with ulcerations of his mouth, and tests confirmed the iguana had an infectious blood disease, which is now being treated. The turtles were found with lesions on their bellies, and inadequate living space. One dog was located in a structure attached to the back of the house, which had a considerable amount of feces in it, and no appropriate water source.
Perhaps most jarring was the sheer number of cats living inside the 400 square foot residence. The report states that the housing of so many cats in such a small space, with no control over the sanitary conditions and without access to basic food or water, compromised the health of the animals.
Madame Justice Dovell also ruled to terminate the original injunction which prevented the animals from being adopted out of the SSPCA. The injunction expires tomorrow at noon.
Madame Justice Dovell did note the compassion displayed by LaPlante in originally rescuing the animals. She writes in the judgment "…the Court has no doubt whatsoever as sworn in her affidavit material that Dolores loved each and every one of her cats and has never refused to rescue any cat. However, love carries with it responsibility and the conditions as these animals were found in on January 12, 2011, were totally unacceptable. While Dolores's actions over the years have to be admired in her taking in stray cats that no one else would even consider taking in, there needs to be some common sense applied to the situation in knowing when to say no."