A Calgary woman has been convicted of Animal Protection Act offences and has been banned from owning or caring for animals for 15 years, according to the Calgary Humane Society.
Samantha Zychowski, who was 21 at the time the animals were found and she was charged, was sentenced after officials found her to be responsible for storing a dog and cat in a plastic bin inside a storage unit.
According to the Calgary Humane Society (CHS), the animal cruelty charges stem from a Jan. 6, 2017 incident, where storage facility staff called police and the humane society after hearing animal cries coming from a unit.
When officers cut the lock, they discovered a dog and cat inside the bin. The head of the cat had been wrapped with duct tape, officials said.
Animal cruelty investigations senior manager Brad Nichols called it “a case of extreme negligence.”
“The intent to keep the cat quiet by duct taping its head was callous and extremely dangerous,” Nichols said.
“That the cat was found, let alone survived this incident buried under personal effects in a plastic bin, with its head taped, is incredibly fortunate.”
A veterinarian who treated the animals said both were in distress because of dehydration.
CHS said there was evidence the cat struggled violently against the tape and from being inside the bin for a long time. The cat also suffered eye injuries from the duct tape.
In addition to Zychowski’s 15-year-ban of owning animals, she was also ordered to pay a $250 fine.
“The outright ban on owning, caring for or residing with animals for 15 years is significant,” Nichols said. “My hope is that Ms. Zychowski’s judgement improves significantly over that period.”
Both the dog and the cat were rehabilitated and have been adopted out.