VANCOUVER -- Four neglected dogs are looking for new homes after the SPCA says they were found living in "terrible conditions" on a Maple Ridge property.

According to the SPCA, the dogs were living in their own feces among hazardous debris and garbage. They were found on a property owned by a backyard breeder. 

"This time of year it's especially hard to find animals living outside in such terrible conditions," said BC SPCA animal protection officer Christine Carey in a news release. 

"While we are decorating our warm homes for the holidays, these animals are just trying to stay warm and dry, outside, alone in the dark."

After several complaints from people who had bought puppies from the breeder, the SPCA investigated the property. Some people who had called in said their puppies were very ill, had been vomiting worms and needed emergency vet care. 

When Carey arrived at the property, she found Reena, an Anatolian shepherd who was tethered in the mud. 

"It broke my heart to see such a friendly and beautiful dog tethered in the mud with no clean, dry place to lay down," she said. 

"I simply cannot imagine how someone could walk by Reena every day and ignore the wagging tail, desperate for attention."

Carey also found Zilky, a Dutch shepherd, who was confined outdoors without shelter or bedding in an area covered in garbage, feces and scrap metal. Meanwhile Caucasian shepherds Lilou and Pasanya were locked in a dirty trailer that had a small opening for light and ventilation. 

"I could hear Pasanya whining before I located her at the back of the property," Carey said. "She was sticking her head out of a small opening in this dark and smelly trailer and looking at me with such a kind and friendly gaze." 

The four female dogs, which are all about one year old, were surrendered to the SPCA. They're now being taken care of at the SPCA's Abbotsford and Chilliwack branches. 

Reena is currently being treated for skin inflammation on her front paws and walks with an abnormal gait. She is set to see a specialist to see if she will need surgery. Both Reena and Zilky are at the Abbotsford branch, but only Zilky is available for adoption right now. 

Pasanya and Lilou are at the Chilliwack branch. Pasanya is underweight and is getting daily treatment for hematoma – a swollen abscess on her face from a dog bite. Lilou is also underweight and has a skin infection on her paws from standing in feces. Both are available for adoption. 

"These pups were being sold off for money, perhaps for Christmas presents or a vacation to a warm place, but none for veterinary care, a doghouse that might provide warmth, a soft blanket, or the comfort and joy that a toy might bring while confined to a dark trailer or tethered by a chain, drinking out of a garbage can lid," Carey said. 

While the SPCA said it hopes these dogs will find a loving home by the holidays, the agency also said it's important to think carefully before giving a pet as a gift. 

"Of course we want people to adopt animals! Our main concern, as it is with every adoption, is to ensure we find the right match, for both the animal and their human companion(s)," said manager of animal welfare Kim Monteith in a news release. 

"Every animal has a unique personality, just like humans do, and it's so crucial to find one who matches your lifestyle, needs and expectations."