LANGLEY, B.C. – Some of the most expensive and sought-after breeds of dogs are being nursed back to health in Vancouver after being seized from an alleged puppy mill in nearby Langley.
Sixty-six animals, including 34 puppies, were seized Thursday in what British Columbia’s SPCA said was one of the largest puppy mill seizures in the province’s history.
Veterinarians and staff at the society’s Vancouver shelter have been working non-stop to care for a range of injuries including broken limbs, missing eyes or ears, malnourishment, infections, abscesses, and psychological issues, Marcie Moriarty, the society’s chief prevention and enforcement officer, said Tuesday.
“Many others show signs of fearfulness due to lack of socialization,” said Moriarty.
Breeds that were seized include standard and miniature poodles, Old English sheepdogs, Bernese mountain dogs, soft-coated wheaton terriers and Portuguese water dogs.
A member of the public who was checking the background of a dog advertised for sale on a social networking site alerted authorities to the plight of the dogs.
“A key step in shutting down puppy mills is for those who are purchasing animals to be educated and aware of the signs of unscrupulous operations,” said Moriarty.
“We have to make it clear to unscrupulous breeders who sacrifice animals on the altar of profit that this type of neglect and cruelty is not acceptable to British Columbians.”
The SPCA is preparing a report for the Crown and is recommending criminal charges.
The dogs and puppies continue to receive vital care and are not available for adoption, but the Vancouver shelter is requesting donations of blankets, towels and dog beds to help keep them warm and comfortable as they recover.