Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Not disclosed 16 dogs, 2 horses seized, other animals found dead

Clearwater, British Columbia

February 2, 2014  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
    18 dogs, 2 horses, 1 calf Alleged  

Sixteen filthy and matted dogs and two horses have been seized from a rural property in Clearwater, B.C., in what’s being called a “very disturbing” case of animal cruelty. Another two dead dogs and a deceased calf were also found on the property.

The dogs, mostly standard poodle and golden retriever crosses, were “badly neglected, filthy and severely matted,” and living in “unacceptable conditions,” said BC SPCA Senior Animal Protection Officer Kent Kokoska. The horses were also matted and have cracked and chipped hooves, he added.

The animal welfare agency is pushing for cruelty charges against the animals’ owners.

“We are grateful to the Clearwater RCMP for bringing this case to our attention,” said Kokoska. “Our 26 SPCA constables have extensive areas to cover across B.C and we respond to more than 7,000 complaints of animal cruelty each year, so it is very helpful for us to have the support of communities in reporting cases of suspected abuse or neglect.”

Kokoska calls the level of neglect of the seized animals “very disturbing” and notes that the investigation is continuing and charges of animal cruelty are pending in the case.

The dogs are currently receiving ongoing care and treatment at the BC SPCA’s community animal centers in Penticton and Kelowna and the horses are being cared for in Kamloops.

Update 2/4/14:
Corinne Ross, the manager of the Penticton SPCA said one of the dog’s troubling physical condition was what earned her the nickname “Matty.”
“Her whole back here was one big matt, and she was just caked in feces and urine,” she said. Matty and the other dogs are being treated for worms and lice and they are also in troubling psychological condition.

Matty on entering the shelter and after being groomed

Photo's courtesy of the BC SPCA

“When we first saw them everybody was in tears,” Ross said. “It’s unbelievable how somebody could go into a kennel everyday and feed animal and walk away when it looks like that.”

The Penticton SPCA animal shelter is caring for ten of the dogs. They can be adopted out if the owners don’t appeal the seizure within two weeks. But it may take a lot of love before it is possible for the animals to be completely psychologically cured. “We are slowly, slowly working on that,” Ross said. “They’re the saddest ones. They’re the ones that really break your heart.”

Ross said the dog has now been vaccinated and de-wormed and is “actually the most friendly of all the dogs we have here” and could even be one of the first dogs adopted. “Her fur will grow back and she’ll be beautiful,” Ross said.

Update 2/28/14:
Many of the 16 dogs seized are now available for adoption at the Kelowna and Penticton BC SPCA branches and staff are hoping they’ll find the perfect forever homes for all of them.

In Penticton, six of the 16 dogs – mostly standard poodles and golden retrievers – are hoping for loving guardians to make a place for them in heart and hearth. “They will all need homes with a lot of time, patience and understanding,” says Corinne Ross, manager of the South Okanagan/ Similkameen BC SPCA Branch. Because of the neglectful conditions in which they had been kept, they are fearful, have eating issues, may try to escape, have separation anxiety and need some house training. “We are confident that they will, in time, become wonderful adoptions to a loving family.”

Suzanne Pugh, manager of the Kelowna SPCA branch, where three of the seized dogs, all golden retrievers, are now available for adoption, agrees.
“They just need the right person or people to help them understand they’re now part of a safe and caring home that is completely different from the horrid conditions they’d become accustomed to,” Pugh says. “Preference will be given to those living in the Okanagan so that each branch can continue to provide rehabilitation support.”

Badly neglected, the dogs required extensive medical treatment ranging from spaying and neutering to dental surgery and more, much of it costly. The lovable canines had been living in unacceptable conditions when seized by BC SPCA constables. Two horses in distress were also removed from the property; three deceased animals were also found on site.

Goldendoodle and poodle upon seizure by BC SPCA officers; both dogs after grooming & treatments

Here are more of the dogs now ready for adoption

Photo's courtesy of the BC SPCA


 BC SPCA CTV Vancouver