First civil-suit of its kind by EHS gives full ownership of dogs seized in November 2016

EDMONTON, AB (January 4, 2018) – Earlier today, a judge granted the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) full ownership of 34 bully-breed dogs seized in November 2016. EHS filed a civil suit against Justin Iverson in April 2017 for ownership of the dogs, which have been in protective custody with the animal shelter for over a year.

The dogs were seized by EHS’ Animal Protection Officers in November 2016 after a complaint was received regarding the conditions of the breeding operation where they were being kept. Iverson was charged with eight counts under the Animal Protection Act (APA) in December 2016, including causing or permitting an animal to be in distress, failure to provide adequate food and water, failure to provide adequate care when wounded or ill, and failure to provide adequate shelter, ventilation and space. Additional charges were also laid under the Criminal Code of Canada by Edmonton Police Services. A separate set of charges was later laid against Iverson by RCMP, after an additional nine dogs were seized from a residence outside of Edmonton.

“We are pleased with the judge’s ruling to grant EHS ownership of these dogs” said Miranda Jordan-Smith, Chief Executive Officer. “This case sets a precedent for animal welfare in Alberta, where EHS exercised the full extent of the law to ensure the humane treatment of animals in our care. Now that ownership has transferred to us, the extensive care necessary to give these dogs the best possible futures can be provided.”

As the criminal case is still ongoing, additional information on the dogs cannot be released at this time. There is no timeline on when the dogs will be available for adoption as many require specialized medical treatment and surgeries before they will be ready, which could not previously be completed due to the complexity and length of both the civil and criminal cases. Interested adopters are encouraged to check the Edmonton Humane Society’s website to see currently available animals. Donations can also be made to the charity to help cover the extensive cost of care for these dogs at

As a leader in the advancement of animal welfare, the Edmonton Humane Society enriches the lives of people and companion animals through animal sheltering, programs and services, and community engagement. For more information, visit