A criminal court case over the deaths of 14 dogs at a Saskatoon kennel last fall is up in the air after a bizarre hearing Wednesday.
The owner of Playful Paws Pet Centre, David DePlaedt, didn't show up for the 2 p.m. court appearance.
The 50-year-old faces negligence charges under the Animal Protection Act after the dogs were left in a "dangerously warm" room overnight on Sept. 10, 2016 without access to water.
Scott Spencer, DePlaedt's defence lawyer, told the court his client hadn't been formally served with the charges.
"He was made aware through media reports," Spencer said.
But Crown attorney Robin Ritter said authorities haven't been able to locate DePlaedt to serve him.
"It's not infrequent we can't locate people to serve them," he told reporters outside court. "We simply take another run at it."
Ritter said DePlaedt's lawyer could receive the summons for his client if willing, but noted Spencer wouldn't do so.
The Crown noted it's up to Saskatoon police to serve DePlaedt. His lawyer said the kennel owner is still living in the city.
'HE THINKS THIS IS A JOKE'
Dawn Loessin, whose husky-German shepherd cross Linc died in the incident, was at the courthouse along with several of the dog owners.
Loessin said she felt like DePlaedt was "playing games."
"He thinks this is a joke. I'm not laughing," she said.
Loessin told reporters she and her husband booked the day off work to attend the court appearance and they're frustrated DePlaedt didn't show up.
"It's difficult. We have kids, we have lives to try and arrange," she said.
But Loessin said Wednesday's debacle won’t stop her from coming to court in the future.
"Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Will I be here next time? You better believe it."
No court date will be set for DePlaedt until he has been served.
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