Animal Welfare Check Results in Criminal Investigation by Fort Erie Detectives

On February 19th, 2023, at 2:44pm the Communications Unit of the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) received a 9-1-1 emergency call from a witness who observed two canines being led into and locked inside a storage unit located within a commercial storage premise on Garrison Road near Kraft Road, in the Town of Fort Erie.  The suspect reportedly left the area on foot, causing the witness concern for the welfare of the animals.

Officers assigned to 5 District (Fort Erie) uniform patrol responded to the commercial storage premise and upon approach the canines could be heard barking from inside the storage unit.  After determining the canines were in distress, the lock was cut, and entry was gained.  Officers seized the canines under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act after observing they were unable to move about due to overcrowding in the unit, insufficient food, and an unclean water supply.  The Lincoln County Humane Society was requested to attend and initially took custody of the canines before turning over their care to Animal Welfare Services.

Detectives assigned to the 5 District Criminal Investigative Branch were notified of the incident and assumed carriage of the investigation.  The suspect was identified, and Fort Erie officers undertook steps to locate and effect his arrest.

On February 22nd, 2023, the suspect was observed riding a bicycle on Garrison Road near Thompson Road, in the Town of Fort Erie.  The suspect was directed to stop, however refused, and continued for approximately three kilometers before being taken into custody on Buffalo Road near Nigh Road.

Quinby Leland ZACHARIAH-DIAZ (31 years) of Fort Erie has been arrested and charged with the following Criminal Code offences:

• Willfully cause unnecessary pain/suffering or injury to an animal (2 counts)

• Causing damage or injury to animals (2 counts)

ZACHARIAH-DIAZ was held in custody pending a bail hearing that took place on February 23rd, 2023, at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse, located at 59 Church Street in the City of St. Catharines.

This remains an on-going investigation as detectives continue to liaise with Animal Welfare Services.  Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the lead detective by dialing 905-688-4111, dial option #3, extension #1009555.

Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).  Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information that leads to an arrest.


Incident #23-17431