Cost of seized huskies tops $60,000, SPCA says

The Saskatoon SPCA says the cost of looking after 82 dogs seized from a breeder has surpassed $60,000.

The Saskatoon SPCA says the cost of looking after 82 dogs recently seized from a breeder has surpassed $60,000.

"To date this seizure has cost the Saskatoon SPCA over $25,000 and that number is growing every day, while it has cost the Saskatchewan SPCA over $38,000," Tricia McAuley, a spokeswoman for the Saskatoon SPCA, said.

Most of the Saskatoon SPCA costs were linked to sheltering the animals and providing them with food and medical treatment.

McAuley said many of the dogs have been adopted. While she did not have an exact number, she estimated that about 40 dogs were still in need of new homes.

She said the SPCA is trying to match the dogs to homes where people can provide some extra attention to animals.

McAuley said the dogs have some behaviour problems due to a lack of socializing.

"Some of the dogs are fearful of toys and food dishes," she said. "Some have never been walked on a leash."

She added that some of the dogs need additional veterinary care for infections and other medical problems that were uncovered after they were seized.

On June 4th, the Saskatchewan SPCA took the dogs from a breeder in the Leslie area, east of Saskatoon. It was alleged the animals were in poor condition. Charges of inappropriate care of animals are still before the courts.

Shortly after the dogs were seized, a judge authorized the SPCA to take charge of them and make them available for adoption.

Dogs in cats' space

McAuley said looking after such a large number of animals, all at once, has been a challenge.

"We've had to be creative," she said about space at the shelter. Some of their cat rooms were converted to space for the dogs. The cats were moved to the shelter's auditorium area. 

Most of the dogs are huskies, some are wolfhounds and one is a breed called the komondor. There were also a number of wolfhound-husky crosses.

McAuley said the dogs ranged in age from nursing puppies to fully mature dogs.

She said one dog gave birth to a litter of four after arriving at the shelter, bringing the total in care up to 86.

Originally it was reported that 83 dogs were seized. One dog on the property was euthanized before it was taken to the shelter.

Francis Wach, executive director of the Saskatchwan SPCA, told CBC News Friday that the owner of the dogs was allowed to keep one for what she described as "compassionate reasons." Wach said the dog was chosen in consultation with an animal protection officer.

"This is a complex case," Wach said about the seizure. She noted that many of the Saskatchewan SPCA costs were linked to the seizure itself, including medical evaluations and transportation, and ongoing legal costs.

McAuley said the SPCA relies on donations for its operations and expressed hope that members of the public might help out with their additional expenses.