17 seized husky pups 'thriving in foster care,' but not ready for adoption

The P.E.I. Humane Society says 17 husky-type pups who were seized from a dog breeder late last year are "thriving," but not yet ready to be put up for adoption.

Puppies split into groups so they can develop in a home environment

Three of 17 husky-type pups seized in November by the P.E.I. Humane Society. The society says the pups are now in 'excellent' condition, and should be ready for adoption in a few more weeks. (Submitted by P.E.I. Humane Society)

The P.E.I. Humane Society says 17 husky-type pups who were seized from a dog breeder late last year are "thriving," but not yet ready to be put up for adoption.

Investigators were sent after complaints were received on Nov. 24. The 17 pups, comprising two separate litters, along with their two mothers, were seized from an Island dog breeder. 

The puppies were found to have lesions caused from sleeping on wet materials in a building that was too cold.

'Thriving in foster care'

The two mothers were eventually returned to the breeder, but a provincial appeal board ruled the pups would remain property of the humane society until they can be put up for adoption.

They're now doing "excellent. They're thriving in foster care," according to Jennifer Harkness, development manager with the society.

Harkness said the decision was made to split the puppies into four groups and place them with foster families to let them develop in a home environment rather than at the shelter, but in the company of their littermates.

"It's such an important stage for young animals and this is really when they're going to develop all of those positive skill sets that we want to see," said Harkness. "How to get along with others, how to get along with humans.… They can't learn that within the shelter environment."

Jennifer Harkness says huskies are very independent and energetic — not a breed for every potential dog owner. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

The puppies are now eight to nine weeks old and ready to be spayed or neutered, but will stay with their foster families for a few more weeks before they're ready to be adopted.

Harkness says there's no waiting list for the adoptions — not that people haven't asked to be put on one. She advises prospective parents to check the society's website each evening.

Beautiful, independent, with lots of energy

When the time comes, the humane society will accept two applications for each dog, and choose among them. Harkness said raising a husky isn't for everyone.

Jennifer Harkness says the pups are now eight to nine weeks old. There's no date set for when they'll go up for adoption, but she said that typically happens at the 12-week mark. (Submitted by P.E.I. Humane Society)

"They're beautiful. They're gorgeous. You just can't help fall in love with them. But they're also very independent," said Harkness. 

"They have a lot of energy. Enough energy to run 1,000 miles across the state of Alaska in sub-zero temperatures. So if you can't help them get out that energy in their normal daily activities, then perhaps this isn't the dog for you."

Harkness said the dog breeders the pups were seized from have not been charged. "We do not believe there was criminal intent. More of a need for education."

She said the breeders have made "significant improvements" with guidance from the humane society, but ultimately the appeal board decided conditions had not improved enough for the puppies to be returned.

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