Sixty-six suffering dogs were seized from a Langley, B.C., breeder on Feb. 4 in what the SPCA has described as one of the largest puppy mill seizures in the province.
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The dogs were found to be living in deplorable conditions, suffering from serious medical issues such as broken limbs, missing ears and eyes, infections, abscesses, malnourishment and dental disease, the SPCA said. Many of the animals had fur that was caked in dried feces.
"It is inconceivable to think that anyone allowed these innocent animals to suffer like this," said Marcie Moriarty, BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer. "Many of these dogs required urgent medical care and many others show signs of fearfulness due to lack of socialization."
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.
Breeds seized included Old English sheepdogs, Bernese mountain dogs, soft-coated wheaten terriers, standard poodles, miniature poodles and Portuguese water dogs.
Moriarty characterized the puppy farm as a family-run operation with ties to Washington state, and said the agency was made aware of the puppy mill by a member of the public. She said previously some puppies from the operation had been sold for $1,000 or more.
"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," Moriarty said.
The dogs are now under the protective hold of the SPCA, receiving veterinary care. They are not currently available for adoption.
The SPCA is preparing a report recommending charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.