Cowichan puppy breeder calls SPCA’s decision to seize her dogs unfair

Cowichan puppy breeder calls SPCA's decision to seize her dogs unfair
WatchA North Cowichan breeder is calling the decision by the BC SPCA to seize 12 dogs from her unfair.


A North Cowichan breeder is calling the decision by the BC SPCA to seize 12 dogs from her unfair.

Yesterday, officers with the BC SPCA raided a Herd Road property seized four adult dogs and eight three-month-old puppies.

The SPCA said the dogs were removed because they have a number of health issues, including possible exposure to a potentially dangerous virus, and they needed veterinary care.

But the breeder, Joanie Lawrence, says she was caring for the dogs as she has been doing for 20 years and the SPCA’s actions are unfair.

“I just feel that it’s not fair that in 25 years I’ve never had anything bad happen and now I’ve had something bad happen and they’re throwing this at me,” said Lawrence, who owns Mixed Blessings.

According to the BC SCPA, the Chihuahua crosses and one Shih Tzu-cross were showing signs of distress.

“From dental disease, some dogs were underweight, one particular dog was displaying neurological symptoms. Another puppy was limping and we have since discovered that puppies leg was broken,” said Eileen Drever, the BC SPCA’s senior officer of protection and stakeholder relations.

The SPCA says it received a tip from someone who bought a dog from Mixed Blessings that had parvo-virus. An officer attended and made recommendations before the SPCA obtained a search warrant for the raid yesterday.

It says people should do their homework before buying a pet.

“I can say reputable breeders will be a member of the Canadian Kennel Club. this individual was exploiting dogs frankly,” said Drever.

However, Lawrence said the dog she sold was not exhibiting Parvo and she wouldn’t have sold it if she had any idea. She says she also had a care plan for her dogs plus an upcoming vet appointment for two of them.

Lawrence says she has many loyal customers and she’s not running a puppy mill.

“I’m worried about my animals. My dogs are now in a cold kennel at her place or wherever they are without [me]. They love me. They know me. They’re my dogs,” said Lawrence.

A number of animals on the property that were not in distress were not seized. the seized dogs are either in hospital or at the SPCA’s victoria location and are not yet available for adoption.

The SPCA says it will likely be recommending charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

RELATED: Complaints lodged against Cedar, B.C. breeder after three puppies die

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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