A case of animal hoarding has led the SPCA to remove 45 dogs from a Brentwood Bay home.
One of the mixed miniature poodle/bishon frise dogs was found dead, leaving 35 adults and nine puppies to be taken into SPCA care.
“We certainly have a number of pregnant moms. We have a number of nursing moms.” said Penny Stone, manager of the B.C. SPCA’s Victoria branch. “They’re just not in great shape. Their coats, their fur is matted and covered in feces, their nails are way too long.
“So they’re certainly in need of some attention, grooming and vet care.”
The dogs range from four- or five-year-olds to puppies born just a few days ago.
Stone said it was clearly difficult for the dogs’ owner to care for so many animals at one time. Now that the dogs are at the SPCA, they have been placed in a number of adjoining kennels, while the mothers and puppies have their own room.
“We have so many moms we didn’t even know who was nursing off who, so we put all the moms together with all the babies. It’s kind of a free-for-all.”
Stone stressed that no adoptions will be taking place for at least a few weeks while the investigation into the dogs’ treatment is investigated. Custody issues regarding the dogs must also be sorted out.
Lorie Chortyk of the B.C. SPCA said efforts were made to work with the owner over a period of time, but it eventually became necessary to seize the dogs
“It is sad because you do have great compassion for the people, but our job is to protect the animals. You can’t just leave animals in a situation where you know they’re in jeopardy.”
The owner did give a few dogs to a rescue group, but was “very, very resistant” to doing so, Chortyk said.
SPCA staff made visits, but did not find anything to act upon.
“We didn’t have any legal option to take action, so we just tried to really work with him,” Chortyk said. “In this latest visit it had escalated to the point where we were able to bring a search warrant and remove the animals.”
The sudden influx of so many dogs at the shelter has Stone asking for donations of sheets for bedding.
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