Calgary breeder accused of animal hoarding pleads guilty, sentenced to $5K fine

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A Calgary breeder has been fined $5,000 and handed a lifetime ban on owning animals after almost 90 cats were removed from her home in April 2016.

The Calgary Humane Society said 89 Maine Coon cats were found in the West Hillhurst home after officers were dispatched for an “animal hoarding situation.” They were removed due to environmental and medical concerns.

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Ruth Sogz, 57, was charged with permitting animals to be in distress. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced under the Animal Protection Act on June 16.

The humane society said the $5,000 fine is “among the highest fines received” under the Animal Protection Act.

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Her lifetime ban on owning cats doesn’t include two spayed/neutered cats that were not among those seized. Sogz is, however, required to submit annual veterinary reports for the animals and is subject to welfare checks by Calgary Humane Society peace officers.

“It is encouraging to see the court apply a lifetime prohibition in this case, given the level and volume of suffering in the home,” Calgary Humane Society spokesperson Brad Nichols said in a news release. “Not long ago, such a ban was unheard of.”

“It is crucial that animal breeders and fanciers remain aware of their capacity for care so cases of overt neglect like this one can be avoided.”

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