Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Nearly 100 rabbits and hamsters seized from a southeast Calgary home, owners now facing criminal charges for neglect

September 19, 2014 Bryan Passifiume, Calgary Sun (update excerpt)

Two Calgary residents each face nearly 200 charges of criminal animal neglect after numerous animals were removed from a southeast Calgary home last month.

Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, Calgary Humane Society animal cruelty enforcement manager Brad Nichols said it was obvious upon entering the residence they were dealing with a significant animal removal.

“There were overcrowding issues,” he said, adding cages and rabbits, along with feces, were “everywhere.” “The rabbits were not in very good physical condition.”

Officers removed 69 rabbits, 21 hamsters, one cat and a dog from the house, all in varying degrees of health. Nichols said that a quarter of the animals had to be euthanized within 24 hours of removal due to their poor condition, with two more subsequently put down.

While the cat is currently up for adoption, the dog remains under veterinary care. Nichols is confident the dog is capable of being rehabilitated for future adoption. The surviving rabbits will soon be available for adoption, too, Nichols said.

With September being rabbit adoption month, those interested in giving a home to the long-eared critters are encouraged to contact the Humane Society at 403-205-4455 ext. 6503.

Anthony and Christine Berry 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 decision to lay criminal charges, said Nichols, came from the scope of the alleged neglect.

“The environmental conditions were bad enough to proceed with criminal code charges,” he said, adding the investigation was carried out in conjunction with Calgary Police. “That speaks to the severity.”

Correction: The Calgary Sun initially reported that two men face charges. In fact, it is a couple, Christine and Anthony Berry.  

Comment: These disgusting offenders must be prosecuted under the fullest extent of our laws. Animal cruelty is a crime and affects all of society.

October 2, 2014 update: Man accused of neglecting animals admits to assault

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.

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.

Read more: Animal suffering, cruelty and hoarding; Adams County, repeat offences; pet industry cruelty, Ohio,; When is a rescuer a hoarder?; BC cases

Rabbit Mills & Pet Store Cruelty; mini rex club rabbits in garage cruelty, Indiana; Alabama hoarder couple's rabbits go to coroner/rabbit breeder; over 200 rabbits, some sick, removed by USDA from unlicensed Georgia business

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