The thought occupying Michael Murphy’s mind these days is what’ll happen after Friday.
His dog swept up in an animal neglect investigation targeting his landlord, that’s the deadline enacted by the Calgary Humane Society (CHS) for payment of a nearly $2,000 veterinary bill.
Renting a room in a home on Fritz Brokop’s rural southwest Calgary farm, Murphy found himself caught in last month’s joint police/CHS operation targeting neglect allegations.
“I’d moved in just prior of Christmas,” he said.
“It was a great opportunity for me to move out to an acreage and have my dog live with me out of the city.”
Murphy had just stepped out of bed and was brewing his morning coffee on Jan. 24 when he noticed the Calgary police tactical unit roll up outside his home.
Taken into custody and later released by police, he was forced to leave behind Tilly, his four-legged friend for the past 11 years.
Not permitted to return to the property until the next evening, Murphy soon discovered Tilly had been seized by the CHS.
Tilly. Supplied photo
As the seizure was part of the investigation against Brokop, Murphy was given no timeline to get his dog back.
“I was led to believe I wasn’t a suspect in any sort of neglect or abuse,” he said, explaining more information was promised at an impending interview with investigators, which took place on Monday.
There, Murphy was told he was free to collect his dog upon settling his bill with the Calgary Humane Society — amounting to $1,923.81.
The bill, a copy of which was provided to Postmedia, includes an $89.50 intake exam, a $210 visit to a local vet, $915 in dental work, and $56 each for two return check-ups, plus $420 in boarding fees.
“I was unaware of any pressing medical needs affecting her happiness and safety,” he said.
Recalling his Monday afternoon CHS interview, Murphy said officers told him nobody was calling him a bad dog owner — but he was still on the hook for the fees.
He’s wondering, then, if he’s to infer they didn’t consider Tilly to be neglected, why he wasn’t given options or instructions to follow-up on treatment with his own veterinarian.
“To be told on Monday afternoon that I had until Friday to come up with $2,000 or I don’t get my dog back,” he said.
“Upon asking for some sort of payment terms or a break, it was strictly shot down — it wasn’t an …read more