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Dogs seized from North Cowichan breeder; charges recommended

The B.C. SPCA has seized 12 dogs from a North Cowichan-area dog breeder and is recommending that the business be charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act or the Criminal Code.
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A member of the B.C. SPCA holds one of the 12 dogs seized from a North Cowichan breeder following a tip from the public about animals in distress. The small dogs, mainly Chihuahua crosses and one Shih Tzu-cross, were in need of veterinary care. [B.C. SPCA]

The B.C. SPCA has seized 12 dogs from a North Cowichan-area dog breeder and is recommending that the business be charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act or the Criminal Code.

On Tuesday, SPCA animal protection officers, acting on a complaint from the public about animals in distress, served a warrant on Mixed Blessings Puppies in Duncan, seizing four adult dogs and eight three-month-old puppies.

Eileen Drever, senior officer for protection and stakeholder relations for the B.C. SPCA, said it wasn’t the first time the organization has been at the property. “The owner of the business is known to us.”

Drever said officers found small-breed dogs such as Chihuahua crosses and one Shih Tzu-cross in need of veterinary care. “The dogs were underweight, one had a broken leg and others suffered from eye infections, severe dental disease and ear infections,” she said. “We also suspect they may have had exposure to the canine parvovirus, a highly contagious and deadly infection.”

The animals were initially taken to a local veterinary facility for examination and treatment, then transferred to the B.C. SPCA in Victoria for ongoing care.

The pregnant females and mothers with pups will stay at foster homes for around-the-clock support.

“This is an example of how people put profit over the welfare of the animals,” said Drever. “They exploit animals and they exploit people who buy these animals.”

She urges people who are looking for a new pet to consider one from an animal shelter, rescue organization or a Canadian Kennel Club-registered breeder. “Unfortunately, people who don’t do their due diligence end up buying a pig-in-a-poke — and enable these individuals.”

Drever said that although the animals were seized, the business can still operate legally. The B.C. SPCA plans to continue to monitor the business, making random inspections.

The investigation into the case is ongoing.

Calls and emails to Mixed Blessings Puppies for comment were not returned.

The dogs are not available for adoption at this time.

The B.C. SPCA says its Cruelty Investigations Department, which has 30 full-time special provincial constables, conducts more than 9,500 animal-cruelty investigations every year.

To report an animal in distress, call the B.C. SPCA provincial call centre at 1-855-622-7722.

parrais@timescolonist.com