57-year-old Gloria Sears has recently been arrested following a raid on an alleged puppy mill in northeast Edmonton, Alberta.
A puppy mill is a dog-breeding facility with the goal of making as much money as possible by breeding litter after litter, usually while intentionally skimping on the costs of animal care, such as clean water, appropriate amounts of food, proper cage sizes, grooming, etc.
The puppies produced in puppy mills are then sold to pet stores, sometimes off the books, or directly to prospective pet owners through online ads.
The horrific conditions that puppy mill dogs are kept in often results in puppies being born with numerous health conditions, potentially leading to huge vet bills for the unknowing buyers.
According to Mother Nature Network, “the ASPCA [American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] warns that puppy mill dogs have commonly been found to have health issues like epilepsy, heart disease, kidney disease, musculoskeletal disorders, endocrine disorders, blood disorders, deafness, eye problems, respiratory disorders, giardia, parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough, mange, fleas, parasites, chronic diarrhea and more.”
These are just some of the many problems, almost always preventable, associated with the problematic production of puppies through puppy mills, some of which Sears’ neglect and greed have potentially caused.
On July 28, the elderly woman was arrested in her rural home where police found 72 dogs of various ages, mostly Havanese, reports City News’s Justin Slimm.
Police were alerted to the puppy mill by prospective customers who noted the depraved conditions of the suffering animals.
According to Slimm, “Several of the puppies were hidden inside a closet and beneath a hutch inside the home at the time the officers arrived at the home. The animals were showing signs of severe neglect and potential illness and were seized by Animal Care and Control members.”
Police have since said that the puppies are in veterinary care and undergoing physical examinations at the Animal Control and Care facility in Edminton.
According to Edmonton Police Service spokesperson Scott Pattison, “The investigating officers described the residence as having pretty much every square inch had puppies in it.
“They were in playpens, some were on a porch outside — a covered porch — some were in hallways, in kennels. It appeared the breeder had tried to hide some of them as well during the raid.”
“One officer described the residence there to have an overwhelming stench of urine and feces,” he added.
57-year-old Gloria Sears has now been charged with “causing animals to be in distress and failing to provide adequate care” under the Criminal Code and the Animal Protection Act (APA), Global News reports.
She faces additional charges for failing to provide adequate food and water and failing to provide adequate shelter, space and ventilation.