One pregnant Pomeranian and 17 Yorkshire terriers have been rescued from distressing conditions.
BC SPCA animal protection officers seized the dogs, ranging in age from two to 10, from a North Okanagan-area breeder.
“Our officers were shocked at how poor the living conditions were for these dogs,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief protection and outreach services. “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,” said 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.