A man from Calgary, Canada has been found guilty of animal abuse for failing to provide adequate care for 34 dogs. He has been ordered by the court to pay a $5000 fine and was likewise slapped with a lifetime three animal limit.
In April 2011, the Calgary Humane Society seized the dogs, mostly pit bulls, from Joseph Michael Hogan's northeast residence. Acting on information, the group claimed the animals were in distress due to space, water and medical care. Mr Hogan was reportedly a dog breeder.
"He'd been distributing flyers indicating he had upwards of 50 dogs and was having troubles feeding them," Brad Nichols, manager of cruelty investigations with the Calgary Humane Society, said.
"Between that and an individual who'd gone to the house to view the animals, reporting back some were in poor conditions, we sought and executed a search warrant (in April 2011)."
Apart from being dehydrated, many of the dogs had puncture wounds. Facial abrasions were found on some dogs as they tried to see out of their pens.
"There was not water available to any of the dogs, there was a lack of space, as the majority of the dogs were housed in a garage, and you can imagine what 21 large breed dogs in a garage looks like. It's not appropriate," Mr Nichols said.
The sentence and fine slapped on 34-year old Mr Hogan was the highest imposed on anyone so far. The three-animal limit will keep him from breeding and ultimately making a profit off of these animals.
"The $5,000 is one of the higher penalties we've ever had. Mind you, it's for 34 dogs, but it's not the worst case we've seen," Mr Nichols added. "It sends a strong message. If you're thinking of getting into breeding, there is accountability and you can have your animals taken away."