Charges laid after massive animal seizure from West Edmonton Mall pet store

The Edmonton Humane Society seized a large number of animals from a pet store in West Edmonton Mall on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. Courtesy, Edmonton Humane Society

Editor’s note: The Edmonton Humane Society told Global News it misspelled the name of the man charged in its initial news release. This story has been updated with the correct spelling.

Six months after more than 500 birds, reptiles and fish were seized from a West Edmonton Mall pet store, charges have been laid.

On Feb. 27, Animal Protection Officers with the Edmonton Humane Society seized the animals from My Pet after a report from a witness who was worried the animals had been abandoned.

READ MORE: More than 500 birds, reptiles, fish seized from West Edmonton Mall pet store

“This was one of the largest seizures our Animal Protection Officers have conducted,” Dan Fryer, director of animal health at the Edmonton Humane Society, said in a release issued Monday morning.

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“Our officers worked diligently on this investigation, which was unique in that it involved a pet store and a large number and variety of animals, and we are pleased that they have been able to proceed with charges.”

Minchaw Menan Tom of Sherwood Park is facing one count of abandoning animals and one count of permitting or causing an animal to be in distress. Both charges come from the Animal Protection Act.

READ MORE: Photo of puppy sparks Edmonton Humane Society investigation

The charges were laid on Aug. 23, EHS said.

More than 500 animals were seized from a pet store in West Edmonton Mall on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. They were brought to the Edmonton Humane Society for assessment. Courtesy, EHS

Under the Animal Protection Act, an abandoned animal is defined as one that is left for more than 24 hours without adequate food, water or shelter; is left for five or more days after the expected retrieval time where an animal is being boarded; or is found on premises where a tenancy agreement has been terminated.

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READ MORE: Edmonton Humane Society to adopt out over 500 animals seized from WEM pet store

Tom is expected to be in court this fall, the shelter said.

The act carries a maximum penalty of $20,000 or a lifetime ban from owning animals.

Most of the hundreds of animals seized were adopted during the EHS’ “Clear our Shelter” event in March.

– With a file from Caley Ramsay, Global News

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