News Release

November 24, 2016

Alberta SPCA investigates welfare of counterfeit sphynx cats

The Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Alberta SPCA) has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sale of cats in Alberta that were falsely identified as “hairless” sphynx cats.

The investigation into allegations that the seller removed the cats’ hair and whiskers to make them look like sphynx cats will focus on the harm this process would have caused the cats. The fraud aspects of the sale are outside the scope of the Animal Protection Act.

“The alleged abuse of these animals was motivated by money,”  said Roland Lines, communications manager for the Alberta SPCA. “Sphynx cats typically sell for more than $1,000 each. Because enough people are willing to meet in a parking lot to exchange money for animals, the counterfeiter can expect to get away with the deception.”

The initial complaint to the Alberta SPCA was not made by one of the cats’ owners, which delayed opening an investigation. The Alberta SPCA investigator is attempting to contact the current owners identified in subsequent media reports.

“If you want to be sure you’re not giving money to a criminal, I suggest you go to a humane society to adopt an animal,” said Lines. “Don’t meet a stranger in a dark parking lot.”

Anyone who is absolutely set on a particular breed, and who can’t wait for it to be available from an animal shelter, should at least get the identity of the seller and see the location where the animal was raised.

For further information, please contact

Roland Lines
Communications Manager
Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
17904 – 118 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5S 2W3
Tel: 780-447-3600 ext. 3742
Email: rlines@albertaspca.org