CANADA – A Calgary cat breeder is currently facing animal cruelty charges after a hoarding incident this spring.
Ruth Sogz, who is 57, was charged with permitting animals to be in distress after 89 Maine Coon cats were seized from a home in West Hillhurst on April 17.
“What we saw was a home that was overrun by cats,” stated Brad Nichols, who is the senior manager of animal cruelty investigations at the Calgary Humane Society.
“There’s not really a size of a home that can accommodate 89 cats well.”
Humane Society peace officers were led to the home as the result of a tip from the public. An recent inspection revealed that the cats inside —all Maine Coons, a large, popular domesticated breed — needed to be removed.
“There’d be an odor of ammonia that’s beyond what would be safe,” he stated.
“Then there’d be the number of cats themselves, and the dirty conditions that would come from that, as far as urine and feces.”
Nichols explained that many of the cats were infected with communicable diseases. Of the 89 cats in total seized, about a third were able to be treated and adopted by new families — a high percentage for a hoarding case, where animals are usually suffering from medical issues and showing feral behavior, said Nichols.
However, roughly 60 of the Maine Coons in total needed to be euthanized.
“Many of them were visibly ill when we took them,” Nichols stated.
“Some that weren’t visibly (sick) to us, who aren’t veterinarians, were identified to be quite sick as well upon intake.”
The maximum fine for the Animal Protection Act charge, which encompasses all 89 cats, is a whopping $20,000. If Sogz is found guilty, she may, in addition, be restricted from owning cats in the future, in addition to receiving any counseling or assistance deemed appropriate by a judge.