07/22/2013 09:05 EDT | Updated 07/23/2013 09:35 EDT

B.A.R.K. Edmonton Faces Animal Cruelty Charges After Investigation


Two people have been charged with cruelty-related offences after reports of inhumane treatment at a downtown Edmonton animal care business.

Complaints collected over the past year about alleged "inhumane treatment of animals," possession of a stolen dog, and "deplorable living conditions" led to the investigation, said Edmonton police in a statement.

A joint investigation by the police and Edmonton Animal Care and Control Centre led to the execution of a search warrant to the business and its owners.

Edmonton Police Service Sgt. Malcolm Allan told Global News the animals were in poor health.

"Just the number of animals, the smell coming from the place, citizens observations of the business owners and their treatment of animals outside the property. Those are the sorts of things that drew Animal Control and, ultimately, the police’s attention to that address,” he told Global.

Forty-six dogs and seven cats were removed from the B.a.r.k., a downtown animal care business on July 19.

The property was deemed uninhabitable for people or animals by Alberta Heath Services.

Ali Sanaee, 36, and Jessica M. Fookes, 25, are charged with two counts of failure to provide proper care of an animal, four counts of willfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal and possession of stolen property under $5,000.

All animals are being examined and scanned to determine legal ownership.

The business, which bills itself as training and rehabilitation facility, has taken down their website and Facebook page.

Any individual with information regarding the investigation is asked to contact Edmonton police.

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