After 88 animals were seized from a property in Langley, the Vancouver branch of the SPCA has been forced to close their doors to the public for the time being.
Lorie Chortyk with the BC SPCA tells Daily Hive that all the animals are sick and aren’t ready to be adopted, so they didn’t see the point in keeping the facility open.
“Whenever you have sick animals that come into the shelter, you have health protocols,” she says. “People coming into the shelter have to gown up, they need to protect themselves and the animals against the spread of diseases.”
Chortyk calls the protocols “bio security,” and staff and volunteers are required to follow a set of rules for their own protection until further notice.
“We’re doing everything we can for [the animals], and they’re doing well, but there are a number of them that have a lot of issues that they came in with.”
Only one dog has had to be euthanized so far, as it was so emaciated that it would have been impossible to nurse it back to health. Emaciation scores for dogs go from a scale of one to nine, and Chortyk says this particular dog was a level one.
As far as a timeline for when the Vancouver branch of the SPCA will reopen, Chortyk says it depends on how the animals respond to treatment.
“We never want to have to close our shelter. We want to have adoptable animals in there and people coming in, but when we have a large-scale seizure like this, we have to focus on triage and treatment and making sure we can save as many lives as possible.”
A total of 45 dogs, 18 cats, 24 farm animals and a turtle were removed from the property, as they fit the definition of “distress” under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act.
The farm animals are being triaged and assessed at the Good Shepherd Barn in Surrey.
Despite the closure of the shelter, they’re still taking donations. Visit the BC SPCA’s Facebook page to find out how you can help out.