EDMONTON — A former Edmonton pet store owner who allegedly abandoned hundreds of animals in the business early last year will not face trial.
The Crown says it has stayed an abandonment charge against Minchaw Menan Tom of Sherwood Park because the case no longer meets the prosecution standard of a reasonable likelihood of conviction.
The charge under the Animal Protection Act was laid after the business in West Edmonton Mall — called My Pet — shut its doors.
The Edmonton Humane Society seized more than 500 small mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians soon after.
An investigation was also launched to determine whether the animals suffered any distress.
Most of them were adopted a month later.
Penalties for a conviction under the abandonment charge could include a $20,000 fine or a lifetime ban from owning a pet.
West Edmonton Mall said in a statement issued following the seizure that the shopping mall and the store owner "worked together to facilitate the hand-over of animals to the Edmonton Humane Society within hours of the permanent closure of this tenant."
The society called the pet store seizure the second largest of its kind in the Edmonton area.
The largest involved more than 1,000 rabbits that were taken from a home in the city. (CTV Edmonton)
The Canadian Press