As the Alberta SPCA investigates an animal rescue operation west of Calgary, other shelters are stepping in to care for its displaced animals.

The Forgotten Farm in Springbank closed its doors after former volunteers alleged animals were being mistreated there, sparking the investigation.


The Forgotten Farm west of Calgary is being investigated by the Alberta SPCA. (CBC)

At her animal shelter south of Calgary, Lucie Cerny has taken in some new residents including a pony with lice, pigs with mange and turkeys with respiratory infections.  

Cerny said she’s not certain the animals became infected at the Forgotten Farm, but after visiting the property she had questions, she said.

"I had serious concerns about this potentially being more of a hoarding situation than an actual rescue facility."

It's easy for an animal rescue to get in over its head, Cerny said.

"It's a great deal of work. And it's really important to realize your own limits. The capacity ... it's always an issue because there's always animals, you know, that need help. You can't take them all."

More than 50 horses at farm

Former volunteers said at one point there were more than 50 horses, along with a range of other animals.

Cerny said she has noticed more and more animal rescue outfits popping up in Alberta.

"And potentially anybody can call themselves a rescue, so people really need to do their research," she said.

The Alberta SPCA estimates there are 300 animal rescues in the province. But executive director Terra Johnston said there is no governing body to keep track.

"And to be fair too, there's no one to assist and support these groups and I think these are what the groups need," she said.

The owner of the Forgotten Farm declined requests for an interview.