The Kelowna BC SPCA is working hard to accommodate the 20 dogs in their care after cruelty investigation officers seized the animals last week from a property in Williams Lake.
Although more than 45 dogs were seized from the property, Kelowna is only in the care of 20, with the rest being placed with shelters in Quesnel and Penticton.
Kelowna branch manager, Sean Hogan, says the shelter usually only has at the most eight dogs in their care at a time and so having the 20 dogs demands more work and attention by staff and volunteers.
“We are working to make sure our staff is successful every day, in making sure the dogs are getting their anti-anxiety medication, that they are getting the food that they need and that they are getting documented for their behaviour, so we can help those that are showing promise and also help those that are having a hard time,” he said.
The dogs, which are a mix of American Eskimo, Husky, Border Collie and Samoyed-cross breeds, have a range of behavioural issues.
Hogan explained that the dogs are showing signs of anxiety and fear.
“You might be thinking of dogs showing fearful aggression, lunging and barking at you, but in this case, it is the opposite, it is more like backing away, freezing in a corner for long periods of time.”
These pups aren’t used to human attention, and according to Hogan, when you reach out to the dogs to let them smell you, or give them a pet, they run away in fear.
“A number of the dogs were living in squalor conditions, or in conditions that were not caring for their welfare,” he said. “There were feces, dirt and fleas stuck to their fur. All of the animals had fleas.”
The BCSPCA will be recommending charges to Crown Counsel, but will have to prepare 46 medical files for each of the rescued dogs before that can be done.
“These dogs are seized and so they are not our property, we have to be very careful in how we care for them,” said Hogan. “We take care of the most urgent needsm but we can’t spay or neuter them.”
If the dogs become property of the BC SPCA, Hogan explained the adoption process could take months depending on a case-by-case basis.
“It would be appropriate to say if any of the dogs are re-homeable and adoptable that there is a long process there for a specialized owner to be aware of.”
As the investigation continues and until charges are approved the Kelowna shelter is looking for donations of:
- High-value food: this is used to “win-over” trust in staff as kind humans. These dogs are under-socialized to people and not at all familiar with petting, touching, talking. Please donate food such as; roasted chicken (Not spicy or “special seasonings” please, beef or chicken hot dog, imitation crab meat, mild cheddar cheese
- Blankets: fleece bed blankets and flat sheets
- Towels: big bath towels are best.
- Laundry soap pods – Non-scented preferred
- Pet-friendly De-icer – for the sidewalks and passageways to outdoor kennels
- Gift Cards – to grocery stores for staff to buy chicken and other dog food
- KONG toys that can be stuffed with food. Small, medium and large sizes needed
- Donate in branch or online to spca.bc.ca/donate