Forty-six dogs and puppies have been seized from a rural property after rescuers received a call from a concerned member of the public.
The dogs were living north of Williams Lake in British, Columbia, Canada but appear to have not ever been properly trained or socialized with people. Many of the dogs huddled in corners in fear when humane officers from the BC SPCA approached them.
The dogs, an assortment of American Eskimos, Border Collies, Huskies and Samoyed crosses, were found in wretched living conditions and living in their own filth, according to the BC SPCA.
“The dogs were seized because of lack of shelter, poor sanitation and inadequate veterinary care and are now in care in several SPCA shelters,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the B.C. SPCA in a release.
“These dogs are terrified of human contact and so they’re requiring pretty much the round-the-clock type of care,” she said.
The man who owned the dogs appears to have sold puppies at one time, but it was unclear what he was doing with all the dogs.
“Collector, hoarder, active breeder — it’s not a cleanly defined situation,” Moriarty said.
The dogs have been moved to shelters in BC’s Okanagan, with 20 dogs in Kelowna and the rest being placed in shelters in Quesnel and Penticton.
Rescuers believe it will be a long road to recovery for many of the dogs and some may never want to be touched or have close relationships with humans. That’s because the dogs were neglected during crucial periods of development, leading to them becoming “highly unsocialized”.
Moriarty says the dogs will require special care to get them to a point where they can be adopted out, and when they are, they will ensure they go to homes experienced with neglected animals.
“We are working to make sure our staff is successful every day, in making sure the dogs are getting their anti-anxiety medication, that they are getting the food that they need and that they are getting documented for their behaviour, so we can help those that are showing promise and also help those that are having a hard time,” Kelowna branch manager, Sean Hogan told the Columbia Valley Pioneer.
Meanwhile, the SPCA is recommending criminal charges against the owner. They hope the man will receive a lifetime ban on owning animals.