The Victoria-area owner of 45 dogs surrendered on April 12 to the BC SPCA, could be facing animal cruelty charges.
The dogs, Havanese and Havanese-cross, are being cared for by BC SPCA staff and volunteers at shelters on Vancouver Island and are being assessed for their physical and psychological condition. Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, says a member of the public reported the property owner on April 10. Officers with the SPCA investigated and the owner surrendered the dogs. Moriarty said workers and volunteers have been washing and grooming the dogs all weekend.
They were found inside the home, she continued, living in unacceptable conditions including high levels of ammonia inside the home. The dogs’ fur was severely matted with feces and urine, making any assessment of their condition troublesome.
“It was hard to tell tip from tail,” she said.
Moriarty added the individual was co-operative and surrendered the animals. The owner had been a breeder and seller of the dogs in the past, but had not done so for around five years. Moriarty said the individual appeared to have become overwhelmed by the number of dogs and was not sure how to find new homes for them.
Moriarty stressed that the dogs are not yet up for adoption, as their overall health must be determined.
She said the individual and where they live are not being identified at this time.
Moriarty added the BC SPCA s working with government about new breeder regulations to help avoid such conditions from happening again.
“Whether it involves a puppy mill where a breeder is putting profits before the welfare of the animals, or a situation where an individual becomes overwhelmed with the number of animals in their care, we need to have standards for breeders and a way for members of the public to identify legitimate breeders from those who are not providing good care and welfare for their animals,” she stated in a media release.
Maturity added in a later interview that the purpose of seeking animal cruelty charges in this case, would be to have an animal ownership ban in place against the individual.
For more information, check the BC SPCA website (spca.bc.ca/adopt) for updates.
Donations for the care of these dogs, and other abused and injured animals in the BC SPCA’s care, are gratefully received at spca.bc.ca/emergencyalert.