The BC SPCA has rescued 45 Havanese and Havanese-cross dogs, surrendered by a former breeder outside of Victoria on April 12.
According to the BC SPCA, their coats were extremely matted with feces and urine. Additionally, the dogs were living in unacceptable conditions inside the home due to high levels of ammonia.
Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer, says that the individual was cooperative and voluntarily surrendered the animals, who ranged in age from 1 1/2 to 15-years-old.
“Our staff [has] spent the past few days assessing the physical and psychological well-being of the dogs and providing immediate medical care for any issues,” says Moriarty. “The dogs were extremely filthy and matted, so extensive bathing and grooming was necessary before we could even assess their condition.”
While the individual had stopped selling dogs about five years ago, Moriarty says this situation is an example why the new breeder regulations being developed in B.C. are urgently needed.
“Whether it involves a puppy mill where a breeder is putting profits before the welfare of the animals or a situation where an individual becomes overwhelmed with the number of animals in their care, we need to have standards for breeders and a way for members of the public to identify legitimate breeders from those who are not providing good care and welfare for their animals,” Moriarty said.
The dogs are being cared for at a number of SPCA shelters on Vancouver Island but are not currently up for adoption. The BC SPCA will be recommending charges of animal cruelty in the case.