NWT SPCA calling for bylaw change after 31 dogs seized from Inuvik property

Inuvik's current bylaw has rules on dogs, but no limit on the number of puppies someone can possess.

Bylaw allows for people to own up to 3 adult dogs, but no limit on number of puppies

Several of the seized puppies are still at the Inuvik dog pound. Though the town's bylaw only allows for owners to have three adult dogs, there is no limit on the number of puppies under five months old. (Submitted by TJ Moore, Inuvik municipal enforcement constable)

The NWT SPCA is calling for change after 31 dogs, most under three months old, were seized from a property in Inuvik. 

One of 31 dogs seized from a home in Inuvik. (Submitted by Nicole Spencer)

Municipal enforcement officers say they found 27 eight-week-old puppies on the property, as well as four grown dogs.

Some were seized as early as three months ago; the rest were taken last week, after the owner died. 

According to Inuvik bylaws, residents are only allowed to own three adult dogs, but there is no limit on the number of dogs under five months old that people can possess.

The NWT SPCA took in many of the seized puppies. Its president, Nicole Spencer, says at five months the "damage is already done" for puppies in this situation. 

"They are going to be terrified," she said.

"Definitely some of them are more feral like, they are scared and they haven't been socialized properly."

Spencer says puppies that aren't socialized often become troubled adult dogs.

Owner known to authorities

The owner of the animals had registered three adult dogs with the town.

He was known to authorities for keeping multiple dogs. In June 2016, officers seized two dozen adult dogs from his property.

Grant Hood, the town's senior administrative officer, says the town had received calls about the owner and the dogs.

'The welfare of those animals are of our utmost concern,' says Grant Hood, Inuvik's senior administrative officer. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

"We would do random checks to make sure they were all fair and they were being handled, and there was no indication that they were in distress."

Hood says all the dogs seized seem to be in good condition.

"The welfare of those animals are of our utmost concern."

Hood says the dogs will be sent to shelters in Yellowknife and Edmonton by the end of the week.

According to Inuvik's municipal enforcement constable, the town has sent about 70 dogs to the NWT SPCA in Yellowknife this year.

With files from Mackenzie Scott