Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Dozens of rabbits and hamsters seized from home
September 19, 2014 Karen Owen | CTV Calgary
The Calgary Humane Society seized 69 rabbits, 21 hamsters, one cat and one dog from a home in southeast Calgary on August 30th. Twenty-one rabbits and five hamsters taken from a home in Erin Woods had to be euthanized because they were in such poor condition.
The Humane Society says the animals were removed because there wasn’t enough space in the home, the conditions were unsanitary, and there was medical neglect.
The Calgary Humane Society says it now has an abundance of rabbits available for adoption. Brad Nichols, the manager of Cruelty Investigations at the Calgary Humane Society said a member of the public called in a complaint.
Nichols added it's been an unusually busy year in Calgary in terms of animal seizures. There have been over 600 animals seized from homes, including cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, snakes, and reptiles. Typically there's no more than 250 animals seized in any given year.
A couple, Anthony and Chris Berry have been charged with 92 counts of the charge 445.1(1) wilfully cause or permit to be caused, unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal and 92 counts of the charge 446(1)(b) wilfully neglect or fail to provide adequate food, water, shelter and care for an animal under the Criminal code of Canada.
Comment: There has been discussion in the animal rescue community regarding the decision to euthanize some of the rabbits and hamsters. It was noted that many small, volunteer-run organizations go at great lengths to provide medical attention to animals they’ve rescued, despite costs. However, it may have been that despite medical attention these little critters wouldn’t have made it. Sadly, the punishment through the courts won’t fit the severity of the crime. Write to your MLA and ask that animal cruelty laws be strengthened and that a database of animal abusers be created. These animals were seized from professional rabbit breeders.
So, by all means, go down to the CHS to see all the rabbits available for adoption and consider giving one a second chance. September is also rabbit adoption month.
Update: The two offenders are each facing 184 criminal code charges, one count of willfully causing unnecessary pain and suffering and one count of failing to provide food or water for each of the animals removed from the home. The fact that the investigation was carried out in conjunction with the Calgary police speaks to the severity, said Brad Nichols, manager of CHS cruelty department. Absolutely horrific. We were told that Christine Berry was a former president of the Southern Alberta Rabbit Breeders Association. (SARBA) Berry was also at one time linked with Bear Bunz Rabbitry.
November 3, 2016 update #2 Anthony and Christine Berry, whose 91 rabbits, hamsters, dog and cat were living in a foot and a half of feces have been handed $12,000 in fines and are only ever allowed to own one animal at a time. When officers seized 91 animals from a home in Erinwoods in August 2014, some were missing eyes and some had to be dug out of their cages because they were buried in the feces.
There were 69 rabbits, 20 hamsters, one dog and one cat, of which 47 rabbits and hamsters were in such poor condition, they had to be euthanized.
These poor animals suffered in silence for far too long and nothing will ever bring back the ones which had to be put down to end their misery. The unconscionable neglect by this couple cannot be excused and that is why we will never give up fighting for the victims of such gross inhumanity.