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More than 100 animals ‘in distress’ seized from Elrose home
Published Monday, January 14, 2019 5:53PM CST
Last Updated Monday, January 14, 2019 7:17PM CST
A Saskatchewan woman says she was “in shock” when animal protection officers woke her up Wednesday morning, inspected her Elrose home and seized more than 100 animals.
Dolores Laplante runs the Sask. Alley Cats Association, which, according to its website, is Saskatchewan’s only province-wide cat shelter.
CTV News was unable to reach Laplante for comment, but on Friday she posted on Facebook claiming officers entered her home and told her the house was “too messy” for the animals to live in. In total, 106 cats, two dogs and one turtle were taken.
Animal Protection Services wouldn’t disclose many details about the raid, as it is still under investigation, but did say it responds to public complaints and that the animals were “in distress.” The agency also said animals are taken if they’re deprived of food, water, shelter, care and medical attention.
“Alley Cats takes in the animals other shelters turned away … the ones in extreme cold, dying, freezing … is that not distressed? How many of you found a stray but the local shelter said they were full … ” Laplante wrote on Facebook.
In 2011, Laplante was charged with animal neglect after dozens of animals were seized from her home, many dehydrated, while 20 needed immediate medical attention. She pleaded guilty in 2013 and was fined $250 but was still allowed to keep animals in her care.
The Saskatchewan SPCA said this is why the province needs regulations around animal rescues.
“Basically, if you say you’re a rescue, you’re a rescue,” said Sandra Anderson, the program director with the Saskatchewan SPCA.
“We’d like to address that by developing a certification program. It’s a voluntary, education-based program that’ll help provide rescues with the information and resources and training that they need to do an excellent job in caring for animals.”
Anderson said the organization is currently looking for funding and hopes to get the pilot project off the ground by the end of the year.
More than 700 people have signed an online petition calling for Sask. Alley Cats’ to be stripped of its charitable status.
Animal Protection Services wouldn’t say where the animals are, just that they’re in care at an undisclosed location. It also said it’s consulting with the Crown about possible charges.