Dr. Adrian Walton, owner of Dewdney Animal Hospital has provided veterinary care to owned servals for years.
The hospital also has a special permit that allows them to rescue and treat animals on the provincial controlled alien species (CAS) list. Unlike other exotic cats like lions and tigers, servals are not currently on the prohibited list but the BC SPCA is pushing for change after special provincial constables seized 13 servals who had been living in horrific conditions on a property near Kamloops.
Dr. Walton supports the BC SPCA’s petition to add servals to the provincial CAS list because he’s noticed an increase in the number of serval owners who are not providing an adequate living arrangement for these wild cats bred in captivity. “A lot of the new serval owners didn’t understand what they were getting into and these animals weren’t getting their basic needs met,” says Dr. Walton. “Servals will jump any fence and need an outdoor area that’s enclosed or they will escape. We heard that more servals were being housed in basements, which is not appropriate. That’s why I decided to support the petition.”
As the only rescue for CAS animals, Dr. Walton has seen the direct impact that the CAS legislation has on the number of exotics coming through the doors of Dewdney Animal Hospital. “Over the 11 years that the CAS has been in place, it has dramatically decreased the number of people who should not be getting their hands on these animals.”
The 13 servals that are currently in the care of the BC SPCA will also have a permanent home in an accredited wildlife sanctuary once their transfer permits are secured.