‘Still in shock’: Elrose, Sask. woman rejects animal distress investigation

Click to play video: 'Elrose, Sask. woman speaks out on animals seized from her home' Elrose, Sask. woman speaks out on animals seized from her home
WATCH ABOVE: Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan say they have taken more than 100 distressed cats, dogs and a turtle from a home in Elrose. – Jan 14, 2019

A Saskatchewan woman claims animal protection officers showed up at her home earlier this week intending to take animals instead of improving the situation when they seized more than 100 cats.

Dolores LaPlante runs Saskatchewan Alley Cats Association out of her home in Elrose, Sask., which was subjected to a search warrant Wednesday morning.

READ MORE: Distressed animals seized from Elrose, Sask. home: Animal Protection Services

“I am still in shock,” she posted on the organization’s Facebook page Friday.

The woman said crews entered her home and told her the house was too messy for animals to live in. In total, 106 cats, two dogs, and a turtle were taken away.

The seizure was due to conditions that caused animals to be distressed, according to Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS).

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“Were there dirty litter boxes? You bet ya,” she wrote. “But is your cat really distressed if you don’t scoop your litter?

According to the post, LaPlante was in the process of cleaning the boxes.

“They came with the intent to take…. not remediate,” she said in the post.

LaPlante declined an interview with Global News.

APSS executive director Don Ferguson wouldn’t offer specifics about the conditions in the home but said the agency evaluates physical space, ventilation and cleanliness where animals are kept.

“The conditions inside did not meet that [standard],” Ferguson said.

He wouldn’t disclose the animals’ holding location, though Saskatoon SPCA stated they’re not being held at its shelter.

Saskatoon SPCA isn’t involved in the investigation, as it is only responsible for animal welfare investigations inside city limits.

APSS was incorporated in 2015 to enforce the Animal Protection Act, which was previously done by the Saskatchewan SPCA.

Charges are pending in consultation with the Crown and APSS said details of the investigation will come out during the court process, rather than the media.

Following any seizure, there is a five business-day period in which a person can get their animals back if they pay for the costs of the seizure and can show conditions have improved.

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After the holding period, animals become APSS property and can be moved to other agencies. Euthanasia is a last resort, according to Ferguson.

READ MORE: Woman fined $250 for messy animal shelter but allowed to continue owning animals

In 2011, the Saskatchewan SPCA seized roughly 70 animals, mostly cats, from the Elrose home. Two years later, LaPlante pleaded guilty to putting her animals in distress.

She was fined $250 and the court ordered the shelter be inspected on a regular basis for the next two years by animal protection officials and the RCMP.

One charge of animal neglect was stayed.

LaPlante wasn’t banned from owning animals and the judge called her an “animal lover” who didn’t meet the adequate standard of care when the animals were seized.

With files from 650 CKOM

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