The BC SPCA has rescued 45 Havanese and Havanese-cross dogs voluntarily surrendered by a former breeder outside Victoria on April 12.
"We received a call from the public on April 10 raising concerns about neglected dogs on this property. Our constables attended and were immediately concerned about what they saw," says Marcie Moriarty chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA.
Moriarty says the dogs "were extremely matted and covered in urine and feces some to the point that honestly you could barely tell which was the face and which was the tail." After bathing and grooming the dogs they noticed some of them had "significant dental issues" and staff are now assessing the animal's psychological wellbeing.
The dogs range in age from one-and-a-half to 15-years-old and are not yet ready for adoption. The animals are being cared for at a number of shelters on Vancouver Island.
The breeder stopped selling dogs about five years ago but Moriarty says the situation "speaks to the need for regulation of dog and cat breeding in B.C."
“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,” she says.
The BC SPCA will be recommending charges of animal cruelty in the case and is accepting donations for the dog's care here.