A total of 46 dogs, consisting of American Eskimo, Husky, Border Collie and Samoyed-cross breeds, are receiving veterinary care in Kelowna, Penticton and Quesnel after being seized from a property near Williams Lake

A total of 46 dogs, consisting of American Eskimo, Husky, Border Collie and Samoyed-cross breeds, are receiving veterinary care in Kelowna, Penticton and Quesnel after being seized from a property near Williams Lake

BC SPCA year end

Animal abuse and neglect cases highlighted by the BC SPCA from 2018

This year the BC SPCA rescued about 22,000 abused, abandoned or neglected animals and completed about 15,000 adoptions, which resulted in assisting about 49,000 animals across the province.

The total number of animals assisted is up slightly from 2017, at 48,946, which continues to highlight the challenges faced by shelter staff.

According to Marcie Moriarty, Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer for the BC SPCA, this year challenges faced by the non-profit were once again focused around animal hoarding.

“It’s a tragic situation all-around, due to the mental health challenges faced by the animal owner, living conditions for the animals’ owner is often as bad as the living conditions faced by the animals themselves,” she explained. “It really takes a huge toll on our constables, on our staff and our volunteers to take care of these animals due to the volume in which these animals arrive at our shelters.”Hoarding issue in Penticton

A case that highlights neglect due to hoarding is that of the 164 cats surrendered in Penticton, this past fall.

In September the South Okanagan-Similkameen BC SPCA took in 64 cats and kittens from one individual, that same person then surrendering another 100 felines in the month of October bringing the total to 164.

Moriarty does see a flip side to the situation when shelters take in such large numbers of animals, she says it shows the non-profit’s capacity to be able to accommodate the animals. As a province-wide charity, the BC SPCA has the ability to transfer animals between different communities.Communities come together

Communities across B.C. have come together in more ways than one to support animals over this past year, said Moriarty.

“Year-after-year, we see a growing response from people when we see these larger rescue cases and it’s heart-warming.”

In February more than 45 dogs were seized by the BC SPCAfrom a half-acre property north of Williams Lake on Highway 97. The dogs were placed in the care of several shelters throughout the province, including Kelowna which took in 20 of the animals.

At the time Kelowna branch manager, Sean Hogan, said the shelter usually only has at the most eight dogs in their care at a time and so having the 20 dogs demanded more work and attention by staff and volunteers.

The dogs, which were a mix of American Eskimo, Husky, Border Collie and Samoyed-cross breeds, had a range of behavioural issues, which included signs of anxiety and fear.

However, the community of Williams Lake where the dogs were seized from heard Kelowna’s call for help and a group of volunteers jumped into action.

Self-described dog lover Gale Lamothe put a message out on social media asking for help to sew several dozen dog beds. Volunteers from 150 Mile House, Williams Lake and McLeese Lake replied and set to work completing more than 50 dog beds in 13 hours. The beds along with food and supplies were then trucked up to Kelowna and donated to the BC SPCA.

“Animals seem to reach out to people, in the most vulnerable spot where they want to take care of them and the Williams Lake dogs are a perfect example of this,” said Moriarty.

Terry Baker, the man whom the BC SPCA seized the dogs from, has been formally charged with two counts of animal cruelty.Wildfire season 2018

Communities coming together is what Moriarty believes keeps everyone going in the work the BC SPCA does, and nothing could be truer than during wildfire season.

“We were able to bend together as communities to provide a safety net for animals and their people,” she said. “But, it (the wildfire season) also shows the dire need formalized a provincial approach to dealing with these animals in these circumstances and that is something the BC SPCA is currently working on.”

Last year, the BC SPCA worked to rescue animals from the threat of wildfirein the Cariboo region while this summer the northern part of the province and Prince George was the focus. Constables not only evacuated animals from homes and farms, but many stayed with the animals that could not be evacuated providing round-the-clock care.

“When we are looking at how to plan for these emergency situations, to ignore animals is at our peril because it has been demonstrated that people delay or are hesitant to leave their homes in emergencies if they have to leave their animals behind,” explained Moriarty. “We are looking forward to really working with both the province and municipality on the area of animal care during emergencies.”What’s next

Looking ahead to 2019, the BC SPCA will be building on their strategic plan and how to better protect vulnerable animals and people.

“We want to enhance our protection and our care and inspire our communities to be more humane,” said Moriarty.

The BC SPCA has sought experts in the area of animal hoarding to assist them in developing a strategy to prevent the cases or more effectively deal with them when they arise.

“We need to do a better job a looking at what will prevent these types of instances from happening and what type of punishments will stop the cycle of abuse, what is most effective.”

The types of charges that can be laid against animal abusers do vary between hoarding situations and neglect, such as the case with Karin and Catherine Adams in Quesnel – chronic offenders who currently had a 20-year ban on owning animals.

“They have no regard for the animals and they are jumping provinces, and those are the cases that I absolutely want charges and convictions and bans on owning animals, and harsh penalties which include incarceration.”

This would stand for the case of Teddy, the dog in Duncan who died from severe neglect.

“There is no excuse for that,” said Morality. “But, if you want to look at a silver lining it really did bring that community together, and provide an opportunity in the community to look for better support from within.”

The case mobilized animal rights groups, with numerous rallies and a call for changes to animal rights laws. Protesters have been stationed peacefully outside the Duncan courthouse on most of Joe and Melissa Tooshley’s court dates, regardless of if they were in attendance or not.Othere cases highlighted by the BC SPCA this year:45 badly neglected Havanese dogs taken into care in Victoria

16 dogs seized from Karin and Catherine Adams in Quesnel – chronic offenders who currently had a 20-year ban on owning animals

51 neglected animals seized in Chilliwack– 24 Persian cats, nine dogs and 18 rabbits

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

x
City of Kimberley approves RCMP contract strength at eight members

At their regular meeting on Monday, June 14, 2021, Kimberley City Council… Continue reading

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Pictured are Tyler McNaughton and Sacha Bentall. The husband and wife duo owns and operates Cutter Ranch in Fort Steele. (Zoe Ferguson Photo)
Farm Life: Where food comes from

A chat with Cutter Ranch

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read