Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Man accused of neglecting animals admits to assault

October 2, 2014  David Boushy for  Global News

A man facing dozens of animal neglect charges admits he assaulted a peace officer with a weapon. Anthony Berry pleaded guilty Thursday to assault, and an agreed statement of facts was entered in court.

The incident happened this past August while officers were investigating reports of nearly a hundred rabbits and hamsters in a southeast Calgary home.

 “When the accused became concerned his animals were going to be seized by the humane society he became agitated, and made a threatening remark to the police officer and humane society officers and pulled a knife”, says Crown Prosecutor Gord Haight.” He told them “there are going to be dead bodies in here in a few minutes”.

Haight says the 43-year-old man reacted violently as he was arrested. “After urging the police officer to shoot him, he stabbed the knife into the wall. The knife was secured and the accused was arrested. But before he could be cuffed he took a bottle that was nearby, and smashed it over his own head and then stabbed himself  in the neck.”

During the incident, officers seized 92 animals from the southeast home Berry shared with his wife. Court heard the basement floor was covered with feces with conditions described as deplorable. Officers found rabbits, mice and rats in cages – many of the rabbits had been mutilated. (Note: according to original reports, there was no mention of rats or mice.)

Berry is charged with dozens of counts of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals, and neglecting to provide adequate food, water, shelter and care He will now be sent for a pre-sentence report that will include a full psychiatric evaluation.

Animal rights activists are hoping for a harsh sentence. “He should have the book thrown at him and never be able to have any animals ever again” says Heather Anderson of the Daisy Foundation. Berry is currently in custody, having been denied bail earlier this week.

He has not yet entered a plea on the animal neglect charges. Berry will be back in court for a sentencing hearing November 21st.

Comment: Thank goodness Berry has been denied bail. He should never be permitted to have rabbits or any other animal again. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t apprehended earlier. As with so many animal abusers, he is unstable and a danger to humans as well.

Read more: September 19, 2014 Dozens of rabbits and hamsters seized from home

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.