CANADA – Animal cruelty charges have been brought against a Calgary woman after a dog and cat were found in boxes in a storage locker.
On Jan. 6, a staff member at the southeast facility heard an animal’s cries coming from one of the units, explained Brad Nichols, manager of the Calgary Humane Society’s cruelty investigations.
“They’d been there at least a day … we were able to intervene in a timely manner,” stated Nichols.
The animals, which are a black domestic shorthair cat and a pit bull cross, were in fair to good condition, although the cat’s head ‘had been taped’, he said.
Investigators discovered the cat in a box underneath belongings, and the dog was in a crate.
“It’s certainly concerning — there’s no lawful reason to tape an animal’s head and a storage locker is no place to put an animal,” stated Nichols, going on to mention that he couldn’t say if any food or water had been left for the animals.
“They were certainly at risk while they were in the unit.”
The tape on the cat may have initially been wrapped around its nose and mouth, stated Nichols.
“It’s quite likely the tape had been pawed at for some time,” he added.
Samantha Zychowski, who is 21, is now charged with causing an animal to be in distress, causing unnecessary pain and suffering, and abandoning an animal in distress or failure to provide necessary care.
Since the charges are under both federal and provincial statutes, the maximum fine for the offenses is $20,000 with up to five years imprisonment.
However, Nichols noted that such penalties are highly unlikely.
Both of the animals — aged from a year to a year-and-a-half — have been adopted out to a loving home, stated Nichols.
“This one has a happy ending,” he suggested.
Nichols confirmed Zychowski doesn’t own any other pets.