FORT NELSON (NEWS 1130) – The BC SPCA has found itself suddenly caring for 119 small dogs after owners near Fort Nelson turned them over this weekend.
The society says the owners surrendered the animals on Friday, after they realized they were “overwhelmed” by the number of pups and reached out for help.
“They did the right thing in asking for assistance and the SPCA was happy to support them,” Marcie Moriarty with the BC SPCA said.
The SPCA says it has no reason to believe the owners were breeding dogs for sale, and it is not considering any animal cruelty charges at this time.
However, Moriarty says many of the dogs were severely matted, and need treatment for dental issues, hernias, nose abrasions, eye issues, nutritional needs, and some other issues.
She says some of the dogs are pregnant, and many of them are afraid of people and “will require ongoing behavioural support.”
The 103 adult dogs and 16 puppies are mix-breed, including Terriers, Shih Tzus, and Papillions.
They were initially taken to the SPCA facillities in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.
“The dogs are now being moved to other SPCA locations to relieve the pressure on these two shelters,” Moriarty said.
“We initially were prepared for the surrender of 22 dogs as this was the number given by the owners,” Moriarty said. “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 BC SPCA is hoping the public will step up with donations to help cover the cost of caring for the influx of animals.
“Managing an unexpected intake of 119 dogs has put a huge strain on our financial resources and, as a non-profit organization, we are very grateful for the public’s support,” Moriarty said. “In the first three days veterinary costs are already over $14,000.”
You can make a donation online.
The dogs are not currently available for adoption, but you can check the BC SPCA’s website for updates.