PRINCETON (NEWS 1130) — Ninety-seven neglected animals including puppies, cats, and horses have been seized from a woman in B.C.’s Interior — and it’s not the first time she’s been investigated by the SPCA.
When constables went to the property with a warrant on Wednesday to investigate a report of horses that weren’t being properly cared for, they found “far more than what they originally expected,” according to Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer Marcie Moriarty.
They found 43 puppies, 24 adult dogs, 27 horses, and three cats. Many were malnourished, all of them were living in terrible conditions, and two of the horses may have to be euthanized because of the severity of their conditions.
“In general there were extremely poor living environments for most of the animals. Some with inadequate shelter, some being confined in very small crates, puppies not even able to lie down or move around, no water,” Moriarty says.
“Then you look to the actual condition of the animals — underweight, emaciated, overgrown nails, matting — just generally neglected animals that clearly were being bred for a profit, with little care for how they’re actually doing.”
BREAKING NEWS: 97 animals including 43 puppies rescued from property near Princeton. Help with the rescue…
The SPCA seized all of the animals and all hands are on deck nursing them back to health at several SPCA shelters and some foster homes in the province.
“Ninety-seven animals in one place is a little hard to look after, at least that’s what we think is the proper way. Clearly this woman did not,” Moriarty says.
More on the @BC_SPCA seizure in #PrincetonBC: 43 puppies, 24 adult dogs 27 horses & 3 cats. Marcie Moriarty says their conditions are incredibly varied but they’d been living in a poor environment, lacked shelter, little access to water, unable to move around or lie down. pic.twitter.com/vhWJFL09rX
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) September 26, 2020
In 2016, the woman responsible for the animals was living on the Lower Mainland.
“It’s very frustrating to me because we have had dealings with this individual in the past,” Moriarty says.
“She had a real knack for moving properties, hiding animals, moving them between properties, and after the 2016 seizure she disappeared and clearly reappeared in Princeton to start again with her endeavour.”
After the 2016 rescue, charges were recommended to Crown Counsel but they were not approved.
“We will be putting together a robust package of evidence, including veterinary opinions, and providing that investigative package to Crown Counsel,” Moriarty adds.
If found guilty, the woman could face fines, a ban on having animals, or jail time.
The animals aren’t yet available for adoption, but the SPCA website will be updated as soon as they are healthy enough to move on to forever homes.
Another way Moriarty says people can help is by making sure that they don’t support puppy mills.
“These operations only survive because there’s a market for them,” she notes.