Williams Lake resident Terry Baker has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code of Canada after the BC SPCA seized 46 neglected dogs and puppies from his rural property north of Williams Lake. The dogs, seized in February of 2018, included American Eskimo, border collie, husky and Samoyed breeds.
Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, says the dogs were highly unsocialized and fearful. “The dogs were seized because of lack of shelter, poor sanitation and inadequate veterinary care but the biggest issue once they were in our care was that they were terrified of human contact.” BC SPCA veterinary and behavioural staff worked around the clock with the dogs to help them cope with everyday sights and sounds. “One of the complications was that several of the dogs were pregnant and gave birth shortly after coming into SPCA care, but were too frightened to let staff near them or their puppies. Thankfully we have some extremely knowledgeable and dedicated staff members who were able to provide the care and treatment they needed despite the challenges.” Moriarty notes dealing with such serious psychological distress in canines is a complex and long-term process. “This was a very intensive undertaking involving hundreds of staff and volunteer hours,” she says. Of the 46 dogs, only eight remain in BC SPCA care. “The fact that the majority of the dogs have responded to the behaviour modification to the point that we were able to adopt them into new homes is quite incredible, given the condition they were in when they were seized.”
If convicted Terry Baker faces a maximum fine of $10,000, up to five years in jail and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.