The BC SPCA has seized seven dogs from a property in Cherryville: two four-year-old standard poodles, a five-year-old Australian shepherd, a four-year-old cocker spaniel and three five- month-old Australian shepherd poodle mix puppies.
“A concerned citizen called our animal helpline about the living conditions of these dogs,” says Eileen Drever, senior protection officer and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA. “When the BC SPCA’s animal protection officer visited the property, they observed the dogs in outdoors pens with only some straw on the ice and snow and a couple of tarps for cover.” Drever adds that the owner confirmed the dogs were kept outdoors.
“Dogs kept outside are inherently vulnerable but in these freezing temperatures they are also susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. These dog breeds are particularly vulnerable as they do not have the kind of coats that can endure lengthy periods of time outdoors in freezing temperatures, especially the puppies.” Drever says that the pens were also contaminated with feces and urine. Dirty water bowls were flipped over or frozen. “Although some of the dogs had access to plastic dog crates, there was very little bedding and it is clear these dogs suffered in the cold with no other options to get warm.”
Drever adds that some of the dogs’ fur was heavily matted and frozen, containing urine and feces. All the dogs had overgrown nails. “This is yet another case of a backyard breeder not taking adequate care of their dogs,” says Drever. She asks the public to do their research and make sure they are acquiring a dog from a reputable breeder. “We don’t want to support breeders that don’t prioritize the welfare of their animals. There are resources available on the BC SPCA website to help you find a good breeder.”
The dogs are currently being cared for in BC SPCA animal centres throughout the Okanagan. They will be available for adoption in approximately one to two weeks.