Edmonton man facing 126 animal cruelty charges after 700 reptiles, amphibians found at residence

An Edmonton man is facing 126 charges under both federal and provincial animal protection legislation after a house fire led to the discovery of nearly 700 reptiles and amphibians.

Edmonton police said in a news release Tuesday that a 31-year-old man was charged with 37 offences under the Animal Cruelty section in the Criminal Code and 89 counts under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta. The man’s charges include willfully permitting or causing unnecessary pain to an animal and failing to provide an animal with adequate shelter, ventilation, or space.

In November 2021, Edmonton Fire and Rescue Services (EFRS) were called to a home on fire in the area of 20th Avenue and 112A Street. 

EFRS discovered almost 700 reptiles and amphibians, most of which appeared “seriously neglected,” according to the news release from Edmonton police. Many had died before the fire.

Edmonton Animal Care & Control and members from Edmonton police’s Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit were called to assist EFRS because of the sheer number of animals in the home. 

“When we think of ‘animal cruelty’ our minds almost always go to cats and dogs; this investigation is a sad reminder of the suffering many exotic reptiles endure at the hands of breeders and importers,” Const. Ilka Cunningham said in the release.

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