May 15, 2019 2:15 pm
Updated: May 15, 2019 3:20 pm

Charges stayed against former West Edmonton Mall pet store owner accused of abandonment

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
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The Crown prosecutor has stayed the charges against the owner of a West Edmonton Mall pet store accused of abandoning more than 500 animals in February 2018.

On Aug. 23, 2018, Minchaw Menan Tom of Sherwood Park was charged with one count each of abandoning animals and permitting or causing an animal to be in distress.

The Crown confirmed to 630 CHED on Wednesday that the charges have been stayed, a decision the Edmonton Humane Society called “disappointing.”

“This was a unique and complex case due to its size and nature and could have set a precedent for cases of animal abandonment had it moved forward.”

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

On Feb. 27, 2018, Animal Protection Officers with the EHS seized the animals from My Pet after a report from a witness who was worried the animals had been abandoned.

More than 500 birds, reptiles and fish were seized.

At the time, the Edmonton Humane Society called the seizure one of the largest its officers had ever conducted.

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

“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,” Dan Fryer with the EHS said last August.

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

Charges are stayed when the Crown feels the case is no longer likely to result in a conviction.

All of the animals seized were adopted during an adoption event in March 2018.

“In any animal protection case, our priority is ensuring that the animals involved are safe and that steps are taken to ensure a similar situation is prevented from happening again.

“We are grateful that we were able to take the animals involved in this concerning situation into the care of our shelter and successfully place them into forever homes.”

EHS also said it encourages anyone who sees possible animal neglect to report it to local authorities.

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