RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) — Cats, kittens, and dogs were rescued from squalid conditions at a Richmond home Friday, after neighbours reported their guardian has been unable to get back to Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The animals, 10 in total, were taken by the Regional Animal Protection Society, which is now caring for them.
All the animals were infested with fleas and the dogs’ coats were matted, while there were more than legally allowed at the home.
“Fleas are especially dangerous to kittens, who may become anemic and die,” says the organization. “All the animals are [not spayed or neutured] and it is believed the mother cat had possibly two sets of kittens while the owner was away.”
With the animals’ guardian out of the country and unable to get home, friends and family had been trying to take care of them, says the society.
Neighbours called police about the situation, and the case has been referred to the B.C. SPCA.
The society reminds the public to be aware of animals in their neighbourhoods who may be neglected or abused during the pandemic.
“The eyes and ears of the public are our No. 1 source for ensuring all animals are adequately cared for and not neglected or abused,” Eyal Lichtmann, with the society, says in a release.
“It is important during these COVID-19 times, where people may have trouble returning home for extended periods of time, that people be on the lookout for neglected or abandoned animals.”
Lichtmann says it’s a challenging time.
“There are reasons why some people’s normal routines may be disrupted due to COVID-19, but that does not abrogate responsibility for your pets. It is imperative that we maintain proper care of animals.”
The society is responsible for animal care and control in the City of Richmond.