16 dogs seized from P.E.I. breeder

Animal protection officers from the P.E.I. Humane Society seized 16 dogs from a home breeder in P.E.I. in early June.

'It was deemed to be unsafe — it was cluttered, it was very dirty'

'We will be going out and doing inspections,' PEI Humane Society warns dog and cat breeders. (P.E.I. Humane Society)

Animal protection officers from the P.E.I. Humane Society seized 16 dogs of various ages from a home breeder in P.E.I. in early June.

The mixed-breed dogs were dirty, matted and living in unsuitable conditions, the society said.

"Their health was at risk," said Jennifer Harkness, development coordinator with the PEI Humane Society.

"It was deemed to be unsafe — it was cluttered, it was very dirty. There was really nothing about the conditions that they were living in that was really even close to the the standard of care that is under the new legislation."

The owner was presented with an order including specific instructions for cleaning up the operation, said the society, but did not comply.

"Those animals were seized because the owner was not meeting the regulations," said Doug Burkholder, an animal protection officer with the society. 

Kennel operators have to adhere to all regulations under P.E.I.'s Animal Welfare Act and the Canadian Kennel Code. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

P.E.I.'s newly-appointed Animal Welfare Act Appeal Board has ruled that the seizure was justified, said the society, and the dogs are now available for adoption. 

'Happy, social pups'

"The great thing is, after they were cleaned up, there were no underlying health conditions," said Harkness. 

"They're not house-trained, but other than that they're wonderful, happy, social pups," she said.

No charges will be laid against the breeder in this case, but the breeder must also pay the Humane Society any costs relating to the animals' care, Harkness said, which could be up to $10,000. 

A spokesperson P.E.I.'s Department of Agriculture confirms the process outlined by the Humane Society has happened. 

Anyone operating a kennel or cattery must adhere to all regulations under the Animal Welfare Act and the Canadian Kennel Code or the Canadian Cattery Code, said the society.

Some of the regulations include washable surfaces in areas in which the animals are living, males and females should be able to be separated, heating and cooling for all seasons, access to outdoors and more.

"The message I want to get to breeders across the Island who are maybe in the business to make a profit, any concerns that we get, any calls we get, we will be going out and doing inspections of the facilities — they have to be up-to-date," Burkholder said, noting the society welcomes tips from the public and questions from anyone who breeds dogs and cats for sale."

There will be fewer warnings issued in the future, Burkholder said, and more orders to improve facilities. 

The Humane Society is getting an increasing number of calls, and standards for breeders are higher, even though many of the businesses are home-based. 


  • This story originally reported the dogs were seized in late June. They were in fact seized June 2.
    Jul 04, 2017 2:31 PM AT

With files from Katerina Georgieva