BC SPCA constables have seized 13 adult dogs, seven puppies and seven horses from a property in Cheslatta, south of Burns Lake.
The seized dogs, primarily Australian shepherds and mixed breeds, included six puppies under two days old and one three-week-old puppy.
“The owner does not live on the property and the dogs were left tethered outdoors,” says SPCA constable Dale Bakken. “Many of the seized animals were underweight and some were showing signs of dehydration.”
He adds that the horses, including pregnant mares and very underweight yearlings, had no shelter, no water and limited access to food. “They were eating snow for hydration,” says Bakken.
Bakken adds that the seizure was complicated by the fact that the property is in a very remote location south of Francois Lake and required a ferry ride to transport the animals.
“It was snowing and minus 15 Celsius but the team worked diligently to get the animals to safety.”
The dogs and puppies are being cared for by staff and volunteers at the North Cariboo SPCA branch in Prince George and the horses are being housed with a Prince George equine rescue group.
“We’re happy that these animals are now safe and getting the care they need,” says Jamie Walsh, manager of the North Cariboo SPCA.
“The adult dogs are doing well in the shelter and the mom and her babies are in foster care to ensure the young puppies can be cared for around the clock.”
The BC SPCA investigation continues and charges of animal cruelty may be recommended in the case.