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The BC SPCA seized nine dogs from a North Okanagan property on Wednesday.
The two adult golden retrievers, their six puppies and a pregnant Australian shepherd were all kept in substandard conditions and exposed to freezing conditions, the organization said.
“When our animal protection officers arrived in response to a complaint, they found dogs and puppies in a basement without heat or insulation,” explained Eileen Drever, senior officer, protection and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA.
“The puppies were shivering and huddled for warmth, they had no bedding except for a bit of dirty hay and there was a build-up of feces and puddles of urine throughout the enclosure.”
There was a small amount of dog food on the floor, Drevner added, but the only accessible water was dirty and in an unclean bowl.
She also noted that the puppies were exposed to a number of dangerous objects in the enclosure, including sharp edges of plywood and makeshift fencing.
After discovering the adult goldens and four puppies, BC SPCA constables found the Aussie shepherd tethered to a wall by chain with two more of the puppies in a separate area of the basement that was blocked off by plywood.
They were also shivering in the frigid temperatures, the BC SPCA said.
When the constables went outside, they discovered the shelter where the dogs were being kept, which had no bedding or insulation and no cover from the -24°C plus wind chill.
“Again, there was a light sprinkling of alfalfa straw on the ground, but not enough to provide any bedding or insulation from the elements,” said Drever.
“Inside the shelter, multiple piles of feces were observed and there was no food or water accessible.”
The nine animals were rushed to a veterinarian for examination and are now in the care of the BC SPCA.
They are not available for adoption at this time, but people are encouraged to make a donation to the BC SPCA to help cover the costs of their care.