May 28, 2019 By King
A Calgary woman who imprisoned a dog and cat in a storage unit in 2017 has been convicted of animal abuse and given a 15-year ban on owning animals.
Samantha Zychowski, aged 21 at the time, pled guilty to two counts of causing an animal to be in distress before provincial court Judge Mike Dinkel on May 23, 2019. In addition to the ban, she was also fined $250.
On Jan. 6, a worker at a storage facility in southeast Calgary heard animal cries coming from one of the units, said Brad Nichols, manager of the Calgary Humane Society’s cruelty investigations.
When police arrived, they discovered a pit bull cross in a crate and a domestic shorthair cat stuffed in a box under some belongings. The cat’s head and mouth were bound with duct tape.
Nichols said the animals were treated for dehydration and the cat was given a topical ointment for a corneal injury caused by the tape. The animals had been in the storage unit for at least a day.
After they were given a clean bill of health, both animals were adopted out a few weeks later.
“Fifteen years is significant and well above the average ban which is three to five years,” Nichols said. “To be honest, the fine is low but that being said, fines are never really our priority . . . We’re after the protection of animals.”
Nichols added because Zychowski is young, there’s a good chance that the 15-year ban will have a positive effect.
Animal cruelty as defined by the Animal Protection Act includes: inadequate access to food, water, shelter, space and protection from the elements and animals in pain or suffering without due care or who have been abused or are subject to privation or neglect.