FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY RESPONDS TO SENTENCING IN ANIMAL NEGLECT CASE
Justin Iverson pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act after a large number of dogs were seized from a breeding operation by the Edmonton Humane Society
EDMONTON, AB (September 12, 2018) – Justin Iverson, 31, of Edmonton was sentenced on Friday, September 7 at the Provincial Court of Alberta after reaching a plea deal to charges laid under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta (APA). He received a $10,000 fine, however, is still able to own up to two dogs, both of which are required to be spayed or neutered. The maximum penalty for charges under the APA is a $20,000 fine and a lifetime ban from having custody of any animal.
“In these types of cases we always want to see a lifetime prohibition from owning animals, to prevent the accused from causing harm in the future,” said Miranda Jordan-Smith, CEO of the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS). “We are looking forward to the outcome of the pending criminal case and hope to see a stronger result based on the criminal code.”
Iverson was charged with eight counts under the APA in December 2016 by the Edmonton Humane Society’s Animal Protection Officers after they seized 35 dogs from a property in Edmonton on two different dates, and an additional two dogs were surrendered. He pleaded guilty to one count of causing or permitting an animal to be in distress, and the other charges were withdrawn.
“This was a heart-wrenching case as it was one of the worst cases in cruelty we have seen,” adds Jordan-Smith. “Many of these dogs, including puppies, came to us in various states of medical distress with skin irritations, wounds, signs of worms and defects that likely had a genetic component such as cherry eye, requiring surgery to correct. The dogs were emaciated, with feces on their fur and overgrown nails.”
“It was extremely rewarding to see them go to their forever homes knowing the situation they had come from,” said Jordan-Smith.
Thirty-one of the 37 dogs that were in EHS’ care were adopted, five were euthanized, and one was transferred to another agency. The dogs included English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pit Bulls.
Officers opened the investigation after receiving a concern about the dogs’ living conditions. The charges included two counts each of 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 under the Criminal Code of Canada were also laid by Edmonton Police Services (EPS) and RCMP for cruelty to animals and causing injury to animals. Iverson is set to appear in court next March for the criminal code charges.
The Edmonton Humane Society encourages anyone who is concerned for an animal’s well-being in the city of Edmonton to report it to their Animal Protection department by calling 780-491-3517.
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 https://www.edmontonhumanesociety.com/.