The Edmonton Humane Society has seized close to 500 animals from a My Pet store in West Edmonton Mall due to concerns the animals had been abandoned.
The society received a complaint that small animals, including birds, amphibians, fish, reptiles and arachnids were abandoned on Monday. After checking the store, the society said the concerns were warranted and the group applied for a seizure execution.
“This is the second-largest seizure we’ve done, to my knowledge,” said Danika Bodnarchuk, supervisor of animal protection services with the Edmonton Humane Society.
The conditions of the animals is not being disclosed. On Wednesday, West Edmonton Mall’s manager of marketing and communications, Darcy Hewson, released a statement about the seizure of the animals.
“West Edmonton Mall, along with the owner of My Pet, worked together to facilitate the handover of animals to the Edmonton Humane Society within hours of the permanent closure of this tenant,” the statement said.
The storefront in the mall where My Pet was located is now covered up.
An abandonment charge can lead to a maximum fine of $20,000 and a lifetime ban from owning animals.