The British Columbia (BC) Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) rescued 66 neglected dogs and puppies earlier this month in one of the largest puppy mill seizures in BC history.
The 32 adult dogs and 34 puppies rescued from the Langley puppy mill have been under the care of BC SPCA shelter and veterinary staff, who have been working long hours to address the animals’ serious medical and psychological problems. These include broken limbs, missing ears and eyes, infections and abscesses, malnourishment, dental disease, severe matting, fur caked in dried feces, and overgrown nails.
“Many of these dogs required urgent medical care and many others show signs of fearfulness due to lack of socialization,” stated Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA.
According to Moriarty, rescued animals were imprisoned in inhumane conditions, often kept with multiple dogs in small spaces, stacked crates, and in dark and unheated buildings. Ammonia levels were dangerous due to accumulated urine.
“It is inconceivable to think that anyone allowed these innocent animals to suffer like this. We have to make it clear to unscrupulous breeders who sacrifice animals on the altar of profit that this type of neglect and cruelty is not acceptable to British Columbians,” stated Moriarty.
The BC SPCA was made aware of the situation by a member of the public. They are preparing a report to the Crown counsel — Canadian prosecuting attorneys who provide advice to the government — and are recommending charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.
This particular case is indicative of the larger problem of puppy mills. “A key step in shutting puppy mills for those who are purchasing animals to be educated and aware of the signs of unscrupulous operations,” Moriarty warned. The SPCA has resources available to help the public learn the differences between legitimate breeders and puppy mills.