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Playful Paws Pet Centre owner pleads guilty in heat exhaustion deaths of 14 dogs

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WATCH ABOVE: Dog owners delivered tearful victim impact statements in court Tuesday remembering the pets they lost in an overheated kennel. Last September 14 dogs died after a heating malfunction at a Playful Paws Pet Centre – May 9, 2017

The owner of Playful Paws Pet Center apologized to the families of the 14 dogs that died after the Saskatoon kennel’s heating system malfunctioned in September 2016.

Dave Deplaedt was charged with negligence under the Animal Protection Act, but pleaded guilty on behalf of the business on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Playful Paws owner charged in death of 14 dogs in Saskatoon

“I can only say I accept responsibility for what happened. We know we should’ve and could’ve done more. We didn’t,” Deplaedt told reporters.

“We will live with that for the rest of our lives,” he said.

Court heard how the ambient temperature in the kennel the morning the dogs were discovered dead was 37 degrees Celsius.

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The judge accepted a joint submission, resulting in a $14,000 fine plus a victim surcharge of $5,600.

The maximum penalty was up to two years in prison, as much as $25,000 in fines, or a combination of both.

An investigation revealed the overheating was caused by a wiring defect first detected in 2011, which wasn’t fixed leading up to the incident.

The Crown described a scene with blood, urine and vomit in the kennel.

“I was beyond angry. I felt sick to my stomach,” Dawn Loessin, owner of husky-shepherd cross Linc, said.

Prior to his death, Linc was an anxiety service dog for Loessin’s daughter.

READ MORE: Autism service dog one of 14 dead at Playful Paws Pet Center in Saskatoon

An autism service dog, Arden, also died when the kennel overheated. In her victim impact statement, Arden’s owner said her son can no longer sleep at night.

“Arden was truly a member of our family,” Ailish Irwin said in court.

Deplaedt has paid more than six figures in compensation to the dog owners, according to Deplaedt’s lawyer.

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