06/11/2012 04:58 EDT | Updated 08/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Edmonton Rabbit Hoarder Fined For Keeping 500 Animals

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A woman was sentenced Monday in one of the worst cases of animal hoarding in Edmonton's history.

"It certainly has to be one of the most dramatic and horrific scenes," said Crown prosecutor Christian Lim, recalling the condition of the house where Shelley Zenner allowed hundreds of rabbits to take over.

"They were coming out of the duct work," he said. "The floors rotted because of the urine. They ate through the wires — they were actually getting electrocuted because they were eating the wires."

Zenner pleaded guilty to a charge under the Animal Protection Act of causing animals to be in distress.

In March 2010, animal protection officers found hundreds of sick and injured rabbits — some running loose, others in cages — in Zenner's southwest Edmonton home.

The judge ordered her to undergo psychiatric counselling.

The judge also banned Zenner from owning more than one pet at a time and said that pet must be spayed or neutered.

Zenner was also ordered to pay a $8,500 fine, which doesn't come close to covering the $100,000 it cost to clean up and euthanize the more than 500 rabbits she once owned, said Lim.

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