Recent Convictions under the Animal Protection Act

As a result of their investigations, Alberta SPCA peace officers lay charges on average about 18 times a year. Many prosecutions take more than a year to arrive at a verdict.

In 2015, Animal Protection Act prosecutions resulted in 22 convictions and 4 withdrawn cases. Nine of those convictions involved the welfare of dogs, six involved horses, four involved cattle and one each involved cats, donkeys and llamas. Sentences included 15 new prohibition orders in 2015.

The Alberta SPCA maintains a full list of active prohibition orders in its jurisdiction. That list includes links to more detailed descriptions of many of the related investigations.

Here are some of the most recent convictions resulting from Alberta SPCA investigations:

Jaleesa Gach (December 23, 2015)

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Gach pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing her dog to be in distress. She was fined $100 and is prohibited for five years from owning any dogs.


Simon Keusch (November 9, 2015)

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Keusch pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing llamas to be in distress. He was fined $5,000 and is prohibited for three years from owning or being in charge of any livestock, except for the sole purpose of transporting livestock to or from Pride Meats and Fine Foods in Sherwood Park as part of his employment there.


Dave Bethel (October 23, 2015)

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Bethel pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing reptiles and amphibians to be in distress, for failing to provide them with adequate food and water, and for failing to treat illness and injury. He was fined $2,000 and is prohibited for 10 years from owning, caring for, or being responsible for any reptiles or amphibians..


Martin Benedict (October 23, 2015)

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Benedict pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing horses to be in distress and for failing to provide horses with adequate food and water. He was fined $1,200 and is prohibited for five years from owning any horses.


Marlene Douglas (October 15, 2015)

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Douglas pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing dogs to be in distress. She was ordered to pay $945 in restitution.


Gillian Majeau (August 25, 2015)

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Majeau pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing cats to be in distress. She was fined $1,000 and is prohibited for five years from owning any cats.


Tammy Janet Morrison (August 17, 2015)

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Morrison pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing horses to be in distress. She was fined $3,500 and is prohibited for five years from owning or having custody, charge or care of more than eight horses.


Jocelyn Proulx (July 2, 2015)

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Proulx was found guilty of one charge under the Animal Protection Act for failing to provide adequate food for his horses. He was fined $750 and is prohibited for three years from owning any horses. After three years, he is prohibited for life from having more than two horses.


Richard Jacob Smith (June 23, 2015)

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Smith pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing horses to be in distress. He was fined a total of $5,000 and is prohibited for 10 years from owning, caring for or controlling more than 20 horses.


Jaleesa Gach (June 18, 2015)

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Gach pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for failing to treat severe matting of her dog's fur. She was fined $100.


Scott Schneider (June 10, 2015)

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Schneider pleaded guilty to charges under the Animal Protection Act for neglecting his cattle. He was fined a total of $3,800 and is prohibited for five years from having custody, care or control of cattle. Schneider can own cattle as long as they are in someone else’s care and control.


James Allan Kurz (June 2, 2015)

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Kurz was convicted of two charges under the Animal Protection Act for failing to provide sufficient feed and water for his cattle and horses. He was fined a total of $3,000 and prohibited for 10 years from having more than 30 head of livestock.


Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society (May 7, 2015)

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Oops-a-Dazy pleaded guilty in Siksika Provincial Court to one charge under the Animal Protection Act of causing or allowing dogs and cats in its care to be in distress.

On June 10, 2014, the Alberta SPCA had taken into protective custody 45 dogs and 19 cats that were in distress while in Oops-a-Dazy’s care. The body of a deceased cat that was found in the room housing the living cats was taken as evidence.

All of the cats had been severely ill and were euthanized by a veterinarian. The dogs were treated for various issues while in the care of the Alberta SPCA. They were later returned to Oops-a-Dazy with an agreement that none of the dogs would go back to the same property.

The society was sentenced to a $10,000 fine. (It was allowed one year to pay the fine.) The court did not write a prohibition order against the society.


Debra Michel (May 7, 2015)

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Michel pleaded guilty in Siksika Provincial Court to two charges under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing dogs and cats in her care to be in distress and for failing to provide adequate care for ill or injured animals.

On June 10, 2014, the Alberta SPCA had taken into protective custody 45 dogs and 19 cats it found in distress at Michel’s property near Gleichen, Alberta. The body of a deceased cat that was found in the room housing the living cats was taken as evidence.

All of the cats had been severely ill and were euthanized by a veterinarian. The dogs were treated for various issues while in the care of the Alberta SPCA. They were later returned to the Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society with an agreement that none of the dogs would go back to Michel’s property.

Michel is prohibited for 10 years from owning a combined total of more than five dogs and cats (jointly with Edward Michel). She is also prohibited from operating a dog or cat rescue, sanctuary or boarding kennel.


Edward Michel (May 7, 2015)

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Michel pleaded guilty in Siksika Provincial Court to two charges under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing dogs and cats in his care to be in distress and for failing to provide adequate care for ill or injured animals.

On June 10, 2014, the Alberta SPCA had taken into protective custody 45 dogs and 19 cats it found in distress at Michel’s property near Gleichen, Alberta. The body of a deceased cat that was found in the room housing the living cats was taken as evidence.

All of the cats had been severely ill and were euthanized by a veterinarian. The dogs were treated for various issues while in the care of the Alberta SPCA. They were later returned to the Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society with an agreement that none of the dogs would go back to Michel’s property.

Michel is prohibited for 10 years from owning a combined total of more than five dogs and cats (jointly with Debra Michel). He is also prohibited from operating a dog or cat rescue, sanctuary or boarding kennel.


Chantel Simpson (April 27, 2015)

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Simpson pleaded guilty in to one charge under the Animal Protection Act of causing a dog to be in distress. She was fined $230.


Noah Kennedy (April 21, 2015)

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Kennedy pleaded guilty in Killam Provincial Court to two charges under the Animal Protection Act for causing or allowing his cattle to be in distress and for failing to provide them with adequate feed. Alberta SPCA peace officers found 52 dead cattle on his property on January 29, 2014. Laboratory analysis of tissue samples showed the cattle were in a state of starvation. The immediate cause of death was determined to be bloat from “grain overdose”—the cattle had broken into wheat bags on the property. Kennedy was fined $2,500 and is prohibited for five years from owning any cattle.


Johan Braun Beuckert (February 19, 2015)

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Beuckert was found guilty of one charge under the Veterinary Profession Act for neutering a dog when he wasn’t licensed to practise veterinary medicine in Alberta. Beuckert was fined $1,150 and ordered to pay restitution of $1,378.49.


Stanley Anderson (January 30, 2015)

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Anderson pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Protection Act for failing to provide adequate food, water and shelter for donkeys, which resulted in the deaths of two animals. Anderson was fined $3,000 and is prohibited for 10 years from owning, possessing or being in charge of donkeys or llamas.


James Ernest Burroughs (January 22, 2015)

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Burroughs pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for transporting a bull with a broken leg. Burroughs was fined $500.


David Eugene Still (January 13, 2015)

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Still was convicted of two charges under the Animal Protection Act for allowing two of his horses to starve to death. Still was fined $750 and is prohibited for life from being in charge of any more than the 13 horses currently in his care. The seven additional horses he owns must continue to be cared for by another person.


Michael Buttazzoni (January 9, 2015)

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Buttazzoni pleaded guilty to one charge under the Animal Protection Act for allowing one of his dogs to be in distress. Buttazzoni was fined $500 and is prohibited for two years from owning any animals other than one reptile he currently owns.