R v Laplante, 2011 SKCA 43

Laplante operated a ‘cat rescue program.’ The residence was searched by animal protection officers, RCMP officers and a veterinarian pursuant to a search warrant. The animals were found to be living in distress due to the unsanitary conditions and without adequate water. The SPCA seized a forty-four cats, seven turtles, one iguana, and one dog. The also seized the corpse of a dead cat.

Laplante brought an application to return the seized animals and claimed that the search warrant was obtained in breach of the Charter. The Chambers judge dismissed the application.

On this appeal, Cameron, Richards, and Smith JJ.A. allowed the appeal in part. The granted the return of the iguana and dog, finding no reason to believe they would be at risk of harm if returned. However, the forty-four cats and seven turtles were rightfully seized and no ordered to be returned.