The BCSPCA has confirmed that 35 adult dogs seized from Terry Baker north of Williams Lake in 2018 were eventually euthanized because they did not respond to behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans and their surroundings. Photo submitted

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized, BC SPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

A total of 35 adult dogs seized from a Williams Lake area man in 2018 were eventually euthanized, the BCSPCA has confirmed.

In February 2018, the BCSPCA announced they had seized 46 dogs from a property north of Williams Lake due to concerns of neglect, undersocialization and distress.

Terry Baker, who owned the dogs, was later charged with two counts of animal cruelty in July 2018.

In a press release about the charges issued by the BCSPCS in July 2018, Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BCSPCA said veterinary and behavioural staff worked with the dogs hourly to help them adjust to everyday sights and sounds.

“This was a very intensive undertaking involving hundreds of staff and volunteer hours,” she said. “Of the 46 dogs, only eight remain in BC SPCA care. The fact that the majority of the dogs have responded to the behaviour modification to the point that we were able to adopt them into new homes is quite incredible, given the condition they were in when they were seized.”

When the Tribune followed up on the state of the seized dogs in December 2018, BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk replied in an e-mail “they were transferred to several different SPCA shelters for rehabilitation and have all been adopted into new homes.”

During the sentencing of Baker in Williams Lake Provincial Court Tuesday, Sept. 17, Baker, who was representing himself, and Crown Counsel both said they learned that 35 of the adult dogs had been euthanized.

Baker was upset and said he could not believe they had been “killed.”

Read more: B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

This information prompted the Tribune to contact Chortyk for clarification.

“I double-checked with the head of our cruelty investigations department for the province,” Chortyk said in an e-mail. “She confirmed that the dogs were undergoing behaviour modification after the seizure in the hopes that they could be rehabilitated and would be able to be adopted into homes. We had to take 87 dogs in distress in total from Mr. Baker (including that one seizure of 46 animals) and out of those we were able to rehabilitate and adopt out 52 dogs. Unfortunately, despite extensive rehabilitation efforts under the guidance of our veterinary behaviourist, the other 35 adult dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans and their surroundings. Under those circumstances we had to make the most humane decision for them to relieve their psychological suffering.”

When asked if Chortyk could say when the dogs were euthanized, she responded that she could not because she did not have access the confidential cruelty investigation files, but that it was well after the seizure and they were not all at once.

“Euthanasia is always a last option for us so if an animal was showing any promise of improvement we would have kept working with them … all animals who could have been rehabilitated were, and were adopted out.”

Baker pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of failure to protect the animals from distress and the failing to obey a previous prohibition of owning more than 10 dogs at once that had been imposed on him in December 2017.

He received a five-year prohibition for the first count and a three-year prohibition on the second count, for an aggregated prohibition from owning, caring for or possessing more than one dog.

Read more: B.C. man loses appeal to get 10 dogs back after more than 46 animals seized



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
OPINION: Examining preliminary results from the 2020 BC Election

Some thoughts to ponder as British Columbia awaits the final results from mail-in ballots

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal). The polls are closed and ballots being counted. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Clovechok preliminary winner with 52 per cent of the vote

35 of 77 polls have reported and The Canadian Press is calling Clovechok winner

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read