More than 50 animals, many being kept in small cages inside a master bedroom of a home were seized in what the Edmonton Humane Society is calling the city’s first-ever commercial breeding mill case.
“This was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen in (any) home,” said society spokeswoman Shawna Randolph, who became visibly emotional during a press conference at the shelter Thursday.
“It was heart-wrenching … These animals were living in their own feces.”
Staff first heard about the case when a citizen called about an imminent danger animals were facing in the home, said the society.
As soon as the investigation began Wednesday night, the owner surrendered the 42 small-breed dogs and 10 cats to the society and to peace officers, the society said.
Charges are pending against the owner and that could take up to six months because of the lengthy investigation, the society said.
The society also released video footage capturing images of barking chihuahuas and other small-breed dogs. Some of the small cages appeared to have five small dogs in a cage and none of the cages appeared to have water.
Randolph said one-third of the staff at the society worked until midnight gathering the animals for the home and transported them to the shelter. Randolph would not disclose where the home was located in Edmonton.
“You can tell that some of (the animals) have been there for years,” Randolph said.
“And people have to understand that puppy mills put profit above the welfare of dogs … in many cases, many animals are discarded.”
Dr. Karen Lange, a director of veterinarian services with the society, say a majority of the animals that were found in the home were elderly and were used for breeding purposes.
“Some had really rotten mouths and some were in extreme need of dental care,” Lange said. “Some of these dogs are going to have long-term issues. Some of them are not that social.”