British Columbia

Princess Pet Daycare raid leads to 'emotional damage' suit

Three owners of animals seized from a controversial Surrey pet daycare are suing the B.C. SPCA for refusing to return their dogs and cats.

B.C. SPCA claims the owner of Princess Pet Daycare has ignored orders related to animal mistreatment

The SPCA adopted out this Samoyed, named Bosco, in July after seizing the dog from a Surrey pet daycare in June. The SPCA said it didn't receive proof of Bosco's ownership from either Albee Yang or Louis Lu. (Albee Yang and Louis Lu)

A legal war has broken out between the B.C. SPCA and the owners of animals seized from a controversial Surrey pet daycare.

Three pet owners have filed claims in Surrey provincial court against the SPCA, calling for the return of dogs and cats seized from the Princess Pet Daycare.

They're also all seeking damages of up to $25,000 for the "infliction of emotional distress."

Louis Lu and Albee Yang are suing the SPCA after it seized their dog from a daycare, and adopted it out in July. (CBC)

"They suffered a lot," says Fan Zou, a friend of the plaintiffs, who speak little English. "The animals are their family members."

The suits relate to five cats, a Chihuahua and five puppies seized in May, along with a Samoyed named Bosco seized in June. The owners claim they asked the SPCA to give back the animals, but were refused. 

The owner of the daycare, Ivy Xin Ying Zhou, has also filed a separate suit, claiming animal control officers won't return two dogs they seized from her in the first raid.

Animals in distress

In responses to the suits, the B.C. SPCA claims investigators obtained the first search warrant in May after learning animals were in distress.

"The seized dogs ... lacked access to potable water, had overgrown nails and dental issues," the response says. "The seized cats and their kittens were highly stressed as dogs were allowed access to their shelter."

The SPCA says they obtained a second warrant in June after Surrey bylaw officers advised them of potential dog fights. They later found Bosco in a pen with a pit bull and a Husky.

"The society was concerned that ongoing dog fighting could lead to injury or death of some or all of the dogs," the response reads. 

Ivy Zhou, operator of Princess Pet Daycare in Surrey, B.C., denies mistreating any animals. She is suing the SPCA for the return of her own dogs. (CBC)

The SPCA says the plaintiff suing for Bosco's return failed to provide proof of ownership. As a result, the organization says it adopted Bosco out in July.

The SPCA says Zhou has ignored repeated orders respecting appropriate animal control and treatment. The City of Surrey revoked her business licence last spring. 

Neighbour Ginger Hartman says the noise and sight of animals in distress has upset the community.

"You see people wanting to do the right thing and desperately so," she says. "And they just can't. And even as a community, we're talking together and nothing's happening."

Zhou claims she has done her best to comply with the SPCA's orders.


  • The CBC apologizes to Ivy Zhou for comments made about her in the originally posted version of this story. That version quoted comments from a spokesperson from the SPCA that cast Ms Zhou in a very poor light. The comments were, in fact, untrue.
    Feb 12, 2015 6:22 PM PT