72 dogs seized from alleged Edmonton puppy mill

A 57-year-old Edmonton woman faces animal cruelty charges in connection with an alleged puppy mill operating in the city’s far northeast.

Woman charged with cruelty to animals

The dogs seized from the property on Sunday showed signs of neglect, Edmonton police say. (Edmonton Police Service)

A 57-year-old Edmonton woman faces animal cruelty charges in connection with an alleged puppy mill operating in the city's far northeast.

Edmonton police and animal control officers seized 72 dogs from a rural property near 247th Avenue and 18th Street during a search on Sunday.  

The dogs, mostly Havanese puppies, showed serious signs of neglect and potential illness, Edmonton police said Tuesday in a news release. 

During the search, several puppies were hidden from investigators inside a closet and others beneath a hutch, police said. 

"Officers, when they walked in, there was the stench of urine in the air, and feces that was fairly overwhelming even for a human to inhale," said Edmonton police spokesperson Scott Pattison. 

"Seventy-two dogs and puppies in one residence in various rooms and corners, cages and playpens. And then, out on the porch, under a covered roof. [They were] in every square inch of that residence by the sounds of it."

The dogs, mostly Havanese puppies, had been listed for sale on Kijiji. (Edmonton Police Service)

Pattison said the puppies had been posted for sale on Kijiji and the investigation was prompted by reports from several would-be customers who visited the property. 

"The accused would never allow any potential clients inside the house," Pattison said. "She would bring the puppies outside ... so they didn't get the chance to actually see inside the residence and the conditions they were living in." 

The puppies are being cared for at the Animal Control and Care facility and will get full medical examinations, police said. 

The woman is charged under the Criminal Code and the Animal Protection Act for causing animals to be in distress and for failing to provide adequate care. 

The woman faces additional charges.

Investigators would also like to speak with other potential consumers who visited the property.  Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

An original ad for the dogs provided to CBC News by Edmonton police touted the puppies' show-dog lineage and listed some of the animals for as much as $2,200 each. 

"These balls of fluffy cuteness will be ready for adoption NOW!!!" the ad read. "These babes have a very gentle nature, are always happy, and are the best snuggle buddies ever!

"They will come to you vaccinated with three de-wormings, pee-pad trained (please be diligent in showing them where to go either on a pee-pad or outside), six weeks pet Insurance and of course pre-spoiled!" 

Just a few of the puppies seized during a search of a rural Edmonton property on Sunday. (Edmonton Police Service)