BC SPCA staff executing a warrant to remove 25 "sick and neglected animals" from a Mission property Thursday were apparently hit by pepper spray.
The animal welfare agency said the owner of the animals was subsequently arrested after the incident, after several "staff and others on the property were pepper sprayed."
Lorie Chortyk told CTV News it will be pursuing animal cruelty charges in connection with the warrant execution.
The property has been on the radar of the BC SPCA for several years, and staff have trying without success to work with the owners, she added.
More than two dozen animals – nine pigs, three goats, three turkeys, two alpacas, two horses, a llama, miniature horse, calf and two dogs, an Akita cross and hound cross – were seized.
Senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever said the animals were suffering from a range of medical issues due to neglect, adding that the property was "strewn with hazardous debris."
“Issues included serious malnourishment, parasites, skin and eye conditions, lice, flared hooves and heavy matting," she said in a statement.
Some of the animals are suffering from psychological issues from living in tight quarters with little food, the agency says.
The name of the person under investigation has not been released.
Animals are being cared for at the Good Shepherd large animal barn at the Surrey Branch.