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

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

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).

“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.

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.

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.
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