Calgary

Calgary man charged after 40 animals seized from 'disgusting and dirty' property

A Calgary man faces multiple charges after police tactical teams, humane society investigators and other agencies converged on a sprawling rural property southwest of the city, where they seized 40 animals in distress, including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles.

Multi-agency operation included police, humane society and other officials

Officials seized 40 animals in distress, including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles, from a sprawling rural property southwest of Calgary on Tuesday. (Calgary Humane Society)

A 56-year-old Calgary man faces multiple charges after police tactical teams, humane society investigators and other agencies converged on a sprawling rural property on the southwest outskirts of the city, where they seized 40 animals in distress, including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles, officials say. 

Fredrick Brokop, a self-described rancher and actor on LinkedIn, faces 15 weapons-related charges and one count of breaching a court order, police said Wednesday. Other animal-related charges might be pending. 

I've not seen such a disgusting and dirty environment.— Staff Sgt. Guy Baker

Armed with a warrant under the Animal Protection Act, authorities on Tuesday raided the property in the 8300 block of 150th Avenue S.W., a few kilometres west of the community of Evergreen.

"In the 31 years that I've been a police officer, I've not seen such a disgusting and dirty environment to live as humans and also to raise animals," said Staff Sgt. Guy Baker at a news conference on Wednesday.

Two homes on the property were almost immediately condemned by officials. 

Fredrick Brokop, 56, faces 15 weapons-related charges and one count of breaching a court order. Other animal-related charges might be pending.

Police executed two other search warrants on the property on Wednesday. Vehicles belonging to the Calgary police, fire department, EMS, the Calgary Humane Society and Alberta Fish and Wildlife were on scene. A police command centre was set up nearby. 

Because the investigation is still active, officials are not yet releasing details about possible charges under the Animal Protection Act, said the humane society's senior manager of animal cruelty investigations, Brad Nichols.

"The interagency co-operation on this file was extraordinary and resulted in a safe and effective search. The animals seized in distress will be treated at Calgary Humane Society as the investigation continues," Nicols said in a release.

Sources told CBC News that, in addition to the animals, 20 improperly stored long guns were also confiscated. 

Police said at least 15 people were on the property at the time of the raid but — due to shanties, sheds and derelict trailers set up there — it was hard to determine who lived there and who was visiting.

Police provided few other details and said little about the condition of the animals, except that some required medical attention. 

Brokop does not own the 64-hectare property — which is divided into two parcels owned by investment companies — but is allowed to live there due to an agreement with the owners, according to police. 

The red 'pin' indicates the location of the investigation on 150th Avenue S.W., on the outskirts of Calgary. The nearest suburban community is Evergreen to the east. (Google Maps)

Police said they do not believe the owners knew what was taking place. 

In January and February 2017, Brokop pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty which resulted in fines and a 10-year animal prohibition, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.

Documents showed he allowed a horse and several ducks to be in distress.

Calgary police vehicles were still at the property on Wednesday, as further search warrants were executed. (CBC)

But because Brokop's livelihood depended on boarding horses, he was allowed to keep them on the property as long as he wasn't the one taking care of them. 

Brokop represented himself in that case. 

Brokop also appears to be connected to a recent online ad for a litter of cane corso puppies, offering them for $1,500 each. The Kijiji ad, which has since been taken down, included a phone number linked to Brokop. 

With files from Meghan Grant

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