Popular Calgary cat breeder charged with animal cruelty after 89 cats removed from her home

Charges filed against popular Calgary breeder (Calgary Humane Society)

A popular Calgary cat breeder was charged with animal cruelty after 89 cats were removed from her West Hillhurst home on April 17. Of the 89 cats rescued around 60 had to be euthanized.

Cat breeder Ruth Sogz, 57, was charged with permitting animals to be in distress after the home, which was overrun with Maine Coon cats, was reported to the Calgary Humane Society by a tip from the public.

The peace officers who investigated the case were overwhelmed with a strong urine smell and decided the cats needed to be removed.   Calgary Humane Society senior manager of animal cruelty investigations Brad Nichols said the home was overrun with the cats.

The Calgary Humane Society issued a press release August 10

“On April 17, 2016, Calgary Humane Society Peace Officers were dispatched to an animal hoarding situation in the community of West Hillhurst. Officers, upon inspection of the home, determined all animals needed to be removed due to environmental and medical concerns. 89 Maine Coon cats were removed by Peace Officers under the Animal Protection Act authorities.

On August 8, 2016, charges were laid against cat breeder, Ruth Sogz, 57, of Calgary for permitting animals to be in distress, contrary to the Animal Protection Act of Alberta.

Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations stated; “It is uncommon to see such a volume of animals in a residential setting, even in a cattery. Over and above the environmental conditions, many of these cats were suffering from serious communicable disease. It is important that fanciers of any species know their limits concerning space, time and finances. Potential legal consequences aside, there have already been serious, irreversible consequences to the cats and the home.”

Officer Nichols will be available today for interviews.”

– See more at: http://www.calgaryhumane.ca/maine-coon-cat-breeder-charged/#sthash.TNdpaGgt.dpuf

Many of the cats were infected with communicable diseases, with many ill when they were rescued. Only about a third of them were healthy enough to be treated and be adopted into new homes.  Nichols stated in an interview with Calvary Herald

“Some that weren’t visibly (sick) to us, who aren’t veterinarians, were identified to be quite sick as well upon intake.”

Sogz was well known in the cat community. During the Calgary Cat Association’s “Kitties ‘n Blooms” show this spring Sogz was among those who donated to a raffle. Her business webpages have now been taken down.

If convicted, the maximum fine for the 89 cats is $20,000. She may also face restrictions on cat ownership, as well as counseling.

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