Warning: Images may be disturbing
Dozens of Havanese and Havanese-cross dogs are in the care of the SPCA at shelters throughout Vancouver Island after being rescued from a former breeder last week outside Victoria.
The SPCA is recommending animal cruelty charges after the dogs’ coats were found extremely matted with feces and urine and were living in conditions inside a home that had high levels of ammonia.
SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said extensive bathing and grooming was needed before assessing the dogs’ physical and mental conditions could be done.
Investigators said the dogs were surrendered by the individual outside Victoria April 12 and the former breeder was cooperative in giving up the animals, that range in age of one-and-a-half to 15-years-old.
The individual had stopped selling dogs about five years ago.
Moriarty says this case highlights an urgent need for breeder regulations.
“Whether it involves a puppy mill where a breeder is putting profits before the welfare of the animals or a situation where an individual becomes overwhelmed with the number of animals in their care, we need to have standards for breeders and a way for members of the public to identify legitimate breeders from those who are not providing good care and welfare for their animals,” Moriarty said.
The SPCA says the dogs are currently not up for adoption.