The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) says 201 dogs seized from a southern Alberta acreage were in horrendous condition.
AARCS called the seizure one of the worst cases of neglect they have ever seen. The rescue near Milk River is the largest removal of dogs in the province's history, according to the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
"They were emaciated, starving, body condition scores one out of five for the most part," said AARCS Executive Director Deanna Thompson. "Due to their breeds, they had major matting of the fur. We have a dog with a broken leg, a broken jaw."
The Alberta SPCA says the animals were kept outside, some chained up, without shelter. They didn't see signs indicating the dogs were being bred to be sold.
According to AARCS, the dogs were a mix of Huskies, Irish wolfhounds, Malamutes and Komondors. Some animals had gaping wounds and were riddled with parasites.
Finding foster homes
Thompson says the dogs are receiving medical care and being spayed or neutered.
Roughly 50 dogs have already been placed in foster homes throughout Calgary. The others have been dispersed around the province.
Staff at AARCS say two dogs have died but they are optimistic the rest will fully recover.
AARCS is in need of donations to cover the cost of care and good adoptive homes for the animals. They are also in need of foster parents and volunteers.
The Alberta SPCA says there is one person of interest, a tenant on the Milk River property, who is being investigated. They anticipate charges will be laid.
For more information, visit the AARCS website.