A Langley puppy breeding and selling business that was the target of a raid the B.C. SPCA raid described as one of the largest puppy mill busts in B.C., is run by Maria Lawlor and her husband Glenn, according to an SPCA search warrant obtained by CBC News.
The warrant that resulted in the seizure of 66 dogs also connects the Lawlors to James and Tarasa Shively, who were convicted of animal cruelty in Washington State and banned from possessing dogs for two years in February 2014.
Tarasa Shively is the Lawlors daughter. According to the search warrant, all four have jointly operated breeding facilities in the past.
The Langley facility has been the focus of numerous complaints since October 2009, according to the court documents.
"These people were professionals at evading the law. This complaint was detailed enough and provided us sufficient legal grounds to go straight to get a warrant," said Marcie Moriarty, the B.C. SPCA's chief enforcement officer.
According to the SPCA, 34 puppies and 32 adult dogs were living in small crates and cages stacked in dark, unheated buildings with dangerous ammonia levels resulting from accumulated urine. The SPCA is recommending criminal charges be laid.
An overwhelming response
Dozens of people donated food, blankets and towels to the SPCA after Tuesday's report of the seizure.
"It's been absolutely incredible and so heartwarming. Mostly they just want to know the animals are OK. they want to know they are helping in some way," said Jane Talbot, director of regional operations at the B.C. SPCA.
But the SPCA says it now has more than enough supplies for the dogs, and that what it needs now is monetary donations to pay for the animals' treatment. The malnourished animals had broken limbs, missing ears and eyes, infections and abscesses.
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"We're starting to shift our focus to the medical costs for the animals and we expect them to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, so we are grateful for any financial donations."
People can donate to the BC SPCA here.