The BC SPCA has seized nine dogs and two cats from a Kootenay resident with a suspected history of animal abuse.
SPCA officials said they received a report from the RCMP regarding a person possessing animals that were possibly in distress.
The individual was squatting on crown land in the Kootenays and had several animals with them.
BC SPCA officials said they believed this person has been charged with animal cruelty numerous times.
They opened an investigation into the situation to find out how many animals were involved and what their living conditions looked like.
Officials said BC SPCA animal protection officers and RCMP attended the camp and confirmed that the person in question was banned for life from owning animals in other provinces.
“All the animals on site, including nine dogs and two cats, were living near piles of rotting flesh from deer and elk and did not have access to adequate shelter,” said BC SPCA officials. “Each was tied to a nearby tree with limited food and only dirty water available to them.”
Many of the animals’ tethers were tangled together.
“It is truly infuriating to see the complete disregard for animal welfare from this individual,” said Eileen Drever, BC SPCA senior protection officer. “If someone is truly struggling to care for their pets, we have supports and programs in place that can benefit both the animal and the guardian. But this situation is very different. This is willfully choosing, again and again, to let animals suffer without any care at all for their wellbeing.”
SPCA officials said many of the animals showed health concerns related to their poor living conditions.
This included ear and urinary tract infections, signs of other infections, matted coats and fur laden with tree sap. The animals were also fearful and under-socialized.
BC SPCA staff said the animals were removed from the area and immediately taken to a veterinarian.
“Our resources are already stretched very thin right now with a remarkable number of animals looking for families to love and provide for them,” explains Drever. “It really puts a strain on the society when we are also dealing with repeat offenders like this who are consistently putting animals at risk. We will be recommending charges against this individual.”