BC SPCA animal protection officers have seized 16 Yorkshire terriers and one pregnant pomeranian from a North Okanagan-area breeder. The dogs, which range in ages from two to 10 years old, were in distress as defined by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
“Our officers were shocked at how poor the living conditions were for these dogs,” explains Marcie Moriarty, chief protection and outreach services. “When they arrived on site, they visited the area where the dogs were being housed. The ammonia smell from the urine was overwhelming. The dogs were being kept in dirty crates that were caked in urine, feces and vomit. We have reason to believe the dogs had not had access to any drinking water since the day prior and the only food available looked very old. The room they were in was dirty with soiled newspaper strewn around and different objects blocking access to the dog crates.”
Upon further inspection, all the animals appeared to be suffering from badly overgrown nails and severely matted coats, which were covered in burs, damp, and had a distinct smell of ammonia from being soaked in urine. The older dogs all had very poor dental conditions with extreme build ups of tartar and plaque, and inflamed gums. One of the dogs was even carrying an untreated groin injury.
“At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the huge demand for companion animals led to an explosion of new dog breeders hoping to cash in and not all of them followed reputable breeding practices. Now that this demand has lessened, the BC SPCA, and other animal welfare agencies across the country, are seeing record high numbers of dogs entering our care from situations like this,” shares Moriarty. “Our shelters are bursting at the seams and it’s extremely disappointing to see. There is no excuse for animals to suffer due to unscrupulous breeders who put profit before animal care.”
The dogs were surrendered to the BC SPCA and immediately brought to a veterinarian, where they will receive medical treatment as required before being available for adoption.
Charges of animal cruelty will be recommended to Crown counsel in this case.
As they are nearing the end of their medical treatment, these dogs are becoming available for adoption. To stay updated on when these incredible dogs will be ready for adoption and to be among the first to meet them, please visit adopt.spca.bc.ca to set up an adoption alert.