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Over 40 dogs found in Fort Qu'Appelle home, court documents show

(Source: Courts of Saskatchewan) (Source: Courts of Saskatchewan)

Two men from the Fort Qu'Appelle area were found guilty of causing distress to animals in a dog hoarding case.

According to court documents, Morgan Desjarlais and Gary Gillingwater had a total of 48 dogs in their home.

Judge Kevin A. Lang passed down the decision in Fort Qu’Appelle on Jan. 30.

Following complaints and worries about the wellbeing of the animals in the two men’s care, Animal Protection Officers visited the home three times from Oct. 21 to Dec. 15 of 2021.

During the visits, officers described the home as having “unsanitary living conditions” with urine and feces covering the floors and some portions of the walls.

The home was also described as very cluttered with garbage piled in all of the rooms and a strong smell of ammonia filling the air.

Food and water were available to the animals, officers noted during each visit. However, many of the dogs were found to be “unkempt with fecal balls attached to them, long nails and matted coats.”

During the second visit by authorities, the bodies of two dogs were seized and another one was euthanized due to ‘medical distress reasons,’ court documents showed.

“Clearly, little to no effort was put into cleaning the Residence as Animal Protection Officers felt that the overall condition of the Residence was either no better or was even worse as time passed,” the decision read.

“Clearly, many of the dogs needed immediate medical attention – one dog needed to be euthanized the same day due to its poor condition. The condition of all the dogs was and continued to be in jeopardy throughout this timeframe given the unsanitary conditions of the Residence.”

During the third visit by authorities, both Desjarlais and Gillingwater surrendered 13 dogs while another 32 dogs were seized by officers.

Both Desjarlais and Gillingwater were found guilty under the Animal Protection Act 2018.

If a person is convicted under the act, the possible penalties include a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment for up to two years.

A prohibition or restriction on owning animals for a specific period may also be included.

Sentencing for both of the accused is set to begin on Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. at Saskatchewan Provincial Court in Fort Qu’Appelle. Top Stories

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