Vulcan man, accused of neglect, permitted to own and sell animals while awaiting court date

Animal rights advocates are calling for stricter conditions on people accused of animal abuse as a Vulcan-area animal breeder continues to raise animals nearly a year after the SPCA seized more than 130 dogs from his property.

Ty Marshall, who faces charges under the animal protection act, attempted to sell some of his animals at auction in Olds over the weekend. According to members of the Calgary chapter of Animal Rights Effort, Marshall’s birds were crowded in crates and had an insufficient water supply.

Officials with Central Alberta Auctions Services say all animals at their auctions are inspected by Alberta Livestock Services and there was nothing wrong with Marshall’s bird containers. The company ensures all animals at auction, including small animals and birds, have adequate food, water and bedding.

In 2017, SPCA officers removed 131 dogs as well as rabbits, cats and tortoises from a property near Vulcan. Marshall was charged with allowing animals to be in distress and failing to provide proper veterinary care. The accusations against Marshall have yet to be tried in court and some of the seized animals were returned to Marshall.

In a statement, Terra Johnston, executive director of Alberta SPCA, confirmed that a complaint had been filed by a member of the public against Marshall in connection with the auction but states there are no orders in place to prevent him from keeping animals.

“While we acknowledge that it is upsetting to the public, this individual continues to be allowed to sell animals,” said Johnston. “It is only the courts which can prevent him from doing so. As this individual has not been convicted, the court cases are ongoing, there is no order in place that prevents the keeping of animals by this individual.”

Animal rights advocates believe the severity of the allegations against Marshall warrants a ban on him owning animals while his case is before the courts and the current animal protection laws, enacted in the 1950’s, are due for an update.

Marshall is scheduled to appear in court next week.

With files from CTV’s Alesia Fieldberg