Photo of puppy sparks Edmonton Humane Society investigation

Justine Elliot's photo of a puppy at a West Edmonton Mall pet store has received a lot of attention since being posted on Dec. 2, 2014. Facebook

UPDATE: (From Feb. 28, 2018) An Edmonton Humane Society spokesperson would not disclose how this case was resolved, but says no charges were laid and the case is now closed.

EDMONTON – The Edmonton Humane Society says it’s looking into a situation at a pet store in West Edmonton Mall.

The official response comes after Justine Elliot posted a photo of a dog she said she saw at the store on Facebook. The photo appears to show a thin puppy with what looks like its ribs showing inside a glass enclosure.

In the Dec. 2 post, Elliot wrote:

“Yesterday while Christmas shopping in West Edmonton Mall me and my boyfriend Lucas Conway went in the pet store “My Pets” and came across two clearly unhealthy puppies up for sale. Both puppies were so skinny you could see their rib and hip bones. These animals were obviously not healthy enough to be adopted out, yet they were still for sale. Not only if this extremely cruel to the dogs it is also awful that people may be sent home with such an unhealthy dog that could have devastating life long health problems because of the lack of food in early development. It saddens me to see animals being treated like this but it upsets me even more that the pet store is doing nothing about it.”

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She later posted an update saying she was contacted by the humane society which said it is investigating. Elliot thanked the more than 7,000 people who shared the post. She also mentioned a protest being planned for Dec. 21 against the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores.

Another woman has also started a petition, which calls on My Pets “to surrender the malnourished dogs to the Edmonton Humane Society and to stop selling puppies in their store.” As of 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the online petition had garnered more than 900 supporters.

Global News reached out to My Pets for comment. The individual who answered the phone wouldn’t provide his name but said the dog is no longer in the window and a veterinarian is coming in to look at the animal. He said, once an evaluation is complete, the store will post the update on social media platforms.


Meanwhile, the Edmonton Humane Society has publicly responded on Facebook, saying: “EHS’ Animal Protection Services has been notified of the picture and are currently investigating. We understand that it can be very disturbing to see posts regarding animal neglect or cruelty.

“It is essential that the original complainant contact the appropriate authorities to ensure an investigation takes place by providing first-hand information.

“If you do see any posts on social media regarding neglect in Edmonton, please advise the poster to make a formal complaint with the Animal Protection Services at (780) 491-3517 immediately.”


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