SPCA appeals for donations after 119 canine surrendered from house in northern B.C.

FORT NELSON, BC – The British Columbia SPCA says the recent and unexpected surrender of 119 dogs from property near Fort Nelson is draining the nonprofit’s resources.

Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer, says RCMP officials who visited the property last Thursday for unrelated reasons said the owners wanted to drop off up to 22 dogs.

According to Moriarty, SPCA staff went to the property on Friday and found 119 dogs of various breeds and ages. Later they had to ask the local RCMP and the fire department for assistance in transporting the animals to care facilities.

The dogs that have surrendered include terriers, Shih Tzus, Papillons, and other small breed crossbreeds that are treated for a range of medical needs from heavily matted coats to dental, eye, and nutritional issues.

There’s no evidence that the owners bred dogs for sale, and Moriarty says cruelty to animals is not currently recommended in this case.

She added that the dog owners were in an “overwhelming situation” and it would not be appropriate to use the legal system to approach the case.

In addition to the dogs’ physical health, Moriarty says, some of them are fearful of human interaction and need ongoing behavioral support.

The cost of shelter and medical care per dog is high. A single dog’s dental needs are up to $ 2,000, she says.

“In the first three days, the veterinary costs are already over 14,000 US dollars,” it said in a statement published on Monday.

The dogs aren’t ready for adoption just yet, but Moriarty says she hopes everyone finds proper homes when they’re ready.

It’s not the first time society has taken in more than 100 animals at a time, but in the past they’ve been able to plan ahead, she says.

This Canadian press report was first published on March 15, 2021.

© Copyright Times Colonist