Vet bills are at $14,000 and counting after the BC SPCA took in 119 small dogs — including some that are pregnant — from an “overwhelming situation” in the northeastern part of the province.
The 103 adult dogs and 16 puppies were surrendered from a property near Fort Nelson on Friday, and staff have worked around the clock caring for the unexpected surge of animals.
The mix-breed dogs include Terriers, Shih Tzus, Papillions and other small-breed crosses.
“The owners found themselves in an overwhelming situation and reached out for help,” Marcie Moriarty, chief enforcement and prevention officer for the BC SPCA, said in a statement.
“They did the right thing in asking for assistance and the SPCA was happy to support them.”
There is no evidence the owners were breeding the dogs, and no animal cruelty charges are being considered at this time.
The @BC_SPCA has just taken in 119 small dogs (including some pregnant pups) from an “overwhelmed” owner. No evidence it was a breeder and no cruelty charges pending. Agency has had a huge job cleaning them up and dealing w health issues. Vet bills top $14K + counting. pic.twitter.com/TH8z4kH1Cl
— Darcy Matheson (@darcynews) March 15, 2021
Many of the animals were severely matted and needed grooming and nail trims. Some are receiving treatment for dental issues, hernias, nose abrasions, eye issues and nutritional concerns.
Many of the dogs are fearful of human contact and will require ongoing behavioural support.
The pups were initially transferred to facilities in nearby Fort St. John and Dawson Creek for assessment and treatment and will now be moved to other SPCA branches to relieve the pressure on those two shelters.
“We initially were prepared for the surrender of 22 dogs as this was the number given by the owners,” says Moriarty.
“But as the numbers crept up it was incredible to see our constable on site think creatively and how the fire department and RCMP rallied, even sourcing out additional crates and transporting dogs in fire trucks so that no dog was left behind. I can’t think of a case in recent memory that comes close to this one.”
The non-profit is asking for the public’s support to help pay the mounting medical bills. You can follow this link to learn more and donate.
The dogs are not currently available for adoption.