Edmonton man charged with animal cruelty faces more charges after pit bulls found in distress
An Edmonton man who was charged with animal cruelty-related charges in December is facing new charges in relation to animals found in a rural Alberta home north of the city.
On Dec. 14, 2016, Redwater RCMP were asked by members of the Edmonton Police Service to check a home in Sturgeon County to ensure the property owner was abiding by court conditions that he was not to own or possess animals.
RCMP said no one appeared to be home when police arrived but they could hear several dogs barking and crying inside the home. There were large amounts of animal feces on the front and back porches of the home, police said Thursday.
The next day, RCMP and members of the Alberta SPCA searched the home where they found nine pit bulls in kennels. Police said the dogs were in various stages of medical distress. Some of the dogs had injuries to their faces and legs and showed signs of malnourishment.
One pit bull was found dead outside the home, police said.
The Edmonton Humane Society was called in and transported to dogs to Edmonton.
“They’ve been receiving extensive treatment at the Edmonton Humane Society. We can’t release specific information on them as they’re not up for adoption right now,” B. Grey, supervisor of Animal Protection Services, said.
“These are some pretty extensive medical conditions that we’re working with so it’s going to take some time. We can’t predict a time frame right now.”
Justin Lawrence Iverson, 30, has been charged under the Criminal Code with five counts of cruelty to animals, five counts of causing injury to animals and 10 counts of failing to comply with recognizance.
In December, Iverson was charged with eight counts of animal cruelty under the Animal Protection Act in relation to an Edmonton breeding operation.
Iverson and Christine Archambault were charged after animal protection officers found dogs living in what they called “some of the worst conditions ever seen at a breeding operation.”
Iverson was also charged under the Criminal Code with two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Grey asks that people do their research before buying a dog from a breeder.
“Check if they can give references. If you are going to purchase a puppy from a breeder, see if they’ll allow you to come to their home. You want to check out the parents, you want to see the litter mates. You want to see the area that they’re being housed in,” she said.
“If someone’s only wanting to meet at a neutral location, that should be a red flag right there for you. If they’re not wanting to do contracts, if the price is very high and you’re just not getting that right feeling, the breeder is really aggressive – things like that – you should be concerned.”
Grey also wants people to be on the lookout for animals in distress.
“We want the public to be our eyes and ears out there. If you have any concerns that an animal’s being neglected in your community within the city of Edmonton, we’re an organization that you can call.”
Iverson is set to appear in court on Feb. 16. in relation to the Sturgeon County charges.
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