Pet store owner charged after 500 animals seized at West Edmonton Mall


The Edmonton Humane Society has brought charges against the owner of a West Edmonton Mall pet store where 500 animals were seized in February.

Minchaw Menan Tom of Sherwood Park has been charged with one count of animal abandonment and one count of permitting or causing distress to an animal, the society said in a press release on Monday.

The charges were brought under the Animal Welfare Act.

The maximum penalty is a $20,000 fine or a lifetime ban on owning animals, according to the statement.

On February 27, the Humane Society seized hundreds of animals from the mall’s My Pet store, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, lizards, snakes, spiders, frogs , crabs, birds and hundreds of fish.

Most of the animals were adopted at an event hosted by the Humane Society in March.

“This is one of the largest seizures our animal protection officers have made,” said Dan Fryer, director of animal health at the Edmonton Humane Society.

The number of animals, the variety of species and the fact that a pet store was involved made it a “unique” investigation, he said.

The nature of the case means there is no historical precedent to determine what type of penalty could be imposed, Fryer said.

Whether the owner would be able to operate another pet store in the future, Fryer said, depends on the judge’s conclusion once the case goes to court.

“It could, in theory, be possible,” he said. “It depends on the discretion of the judge.”

Members of the public are society’s eyes and ears when it comes to neglected or abandoned animals, and people who see abuse should report it, Fryer said.

Tom is expected to appear in court this fall, according to the statement.


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