Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Calgary pet store facing three sets of animal cruelty charges
July 31, 2015 Clara Ho, Calgary Herald
A northeast Calgary pet store is facing three sets of charges after a number of animals in distress were seized from the business, according to the Calgary Humane Society.
Peace officers first visited Riverfront Aquariums at 312 Meridian Road N.E. on Sept. 12, 2014, acting on a complaint from a member of the public, said Brad Nichols, manager of cruelty investigations with the Calgary Humane Society.
When they arrived, they found nine rabbits and a bearded dragon, all suffering from neglect. Some of the rabbits were in such poor shape, they had to be euthanized, Nichols said. “We did some subsequent inspections and, unfortunately, found issues that needed to be corrected as well as animals that needed to be removed,” he said.
On May 7, officers returned and seized an iguana and chameleon in medical distress. A month later, on June 18, officers seized four animals in medical distress: a basilisk lizard, a tree frog and two day geckos. Store owner Wayne Woo is expected to appear in court on Thursday, on Aug. 24, and Sept. 8, on the 16 charges.
Nichols said it’s concerning to see charges laid against a pet store as there is a higher expectation of care involved. “In theory, they should know more about the care of those pets because they are selling them to people. They need to be the model for the purchasers,” he said. “After charging them once, there was not a lesson learned. The second and third sets of charges demonstrated an unwillingness to adequately care for the animals.”
Nichols said he’s unsure why veterinary care was not sought for the animals in distress, adding it’s possible the owner didn’t want to spend the money for medical treatment. The Herald has not been able to reach Woo, and a man who answered the phone at the store declined to comment.
According to the Riverfront Aquariums website, the business has been operating since 1994 and specializes in tropical and marine fish, water plants and reptiles.
Nichols said he can’t speak to any previous enforcement history at the business, adding there haven’t been previous charges laid. But as a pet store, it is subject to inspections by peace officers.
Comment: So why hasn’t Riverfront Aquariums been shut down? Clearly, Woo has a callous disrespect for the lives of these animals let alone their suffering. His only concern is money. Shame on anyone who enables this business to continue. Take a stand, people – go elsewhere!