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17 dogs seized from Okanagan breeder, animal cruelty charges recommended

This photo provided by the BC SPCA shows a staff member holding a rescued dog. This photo provided by the BC SPCA shows a staff member holding a rescued dog.
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The BC SPCA is recommending animal cruelty charges against a breeder in the Okanagan after allegedly finding 16 Yorkshire terriers and a pregnant Pomeranian living in squalid conditions.

The dogs were between two and 10 years old and were found with matted coats, overgrown nails, decaying teeth and a host of other health and hygiene issues, the animal welfare charity said in a news release.

Marcie Moriarty with the BC SPCA says protection officers were shocked when they arrived at the property, the location of which is not specified.

"The ammonia smell from the urine was overwhelming. The dogs were being kept in dirty crates that were caked in urine, feces and vomit," she writes in the statement.

"We have reason to believe the dogs had not had access to any drinking water since the day prior and the only food available looked very old. The room they were in was dirty with soiled newspaper strewn around and different objects blocking access to the dog crates.”

The BC SPCA says the case comes amid a surge in situations like this which it attributes to an increase in demand for pets during the pandemic and an "explosion" of dog breeders "hoping to cash in." Now that demand for dogs has decreased, Moriarty says organizations are seeing "record numbers" of dogs that are being seized or surrendered.

"Our shelters are bursting at the seams and it’s extremely disappointing to see. There is no excuse for animals to suffer due to unscrupulous breeders who put profit before animal care,” she said in the statement.

The 17 dogs in this case are now receiving the required medical care, the BC SPCA says.

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