The Edmonton Humane Society has laid charges against a pet store owner after 500 animals were seized in February from the My Pet store in West Edmonton Mall.
Michaw Menan Tom of Sherwood Park has been charged with one count of abandoning animals and one count of permitting or causing an animal to be in distress, the society said Monday in a news release.
The charges were laid under the Animal Protection Act.
The maximum penalty is a $20,000 fine or a lifetime prohibition from owning animals, the release said.
On Feb. 27, the humane society seized a variety of animals from the store, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, lizards, snakes, spiders, frogs, crabs, birds and hundreds of fish.
Most of the animals were adopted at an event hosted by the humane society in March.
“This was one of the largest seizures our animal protection officers have conducted,” said Dan Fryer, director of animal health at the Edmonton Humane Society.
He described the investigation as “unique” because it involved a pet store and a large number and wide variety of animals.
Tom is expected to appear in court this fall, the release said.