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Charges pending after 44 dogs, cats seized from 'shockingly unsanitary' B.C. home

The BC SPCA says the seized animals were rescued by boat, and include 37 small-breed dogs, two Bernedoodles and five cats. (BC SPCA) The BC SPCA says the seized animals were rescued by boat, and include 37 small-breed dogs, two Bernedoodles and five cats. (BC SPCA)
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Animal welfare workers in British Columbia will be recommending animal cruelty charges after 44 neglected dogs and cats were seized from a derelict and garbage-filled home on a small, southern Gulf Island near Nanaimo.

The BC SPCA says the seized animals were rescued by boat, and include 37 small-breed dogs, two Bernedoodles and five cats that were found in "shockingly unsanitary conditions."

Some of the animals were found inside the walls of the home, which had no running water or apparent food for the animals, the organization said in a statement Tuesday.

"The home where the 44 animals were living was so bad you could smell the feces before you entered," BC SPCA spokesperson Eileen Drever said.

"When the animal protection officers entered the home they discovered the main floor was covered in what can only be described as a carpet of feces and there were incredible amounts of garbage in many of the rooms."

The animals, including seven puppies, were transported by boat to Nanaimo and will be distributed to BC SPCA shelters across Vancouver Island for treatment, the organization said.

Drever told CTV News the BC SPCA's investigation is ongoing, but the organization will recommend charges under the B.C. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Conviction under the law carries a maximum penalty of a $75,000 fine, two years imprisonment or a prohibition from owning animals, Drever said.

Among the dogs that had been fully examined Tuesday, many were found to be emaciated and suffering from dental disease. The BC SPCA says the animals are recovering "remarkably well" given their circumstances.

"A number of the dogs were fearful, but after a night in the animal centre, they were excited to see BC SPCA staff," Drever said.

Among the dogs that had been fully examined Tuesday, many were found to be emaciated and suffering from dental disease. (BC SPCA)

The small-breed dogs are described as a combination of Havanese, Papillons, poodles and Pomeranian mixes. Two of the puppies are estimated at three weeks old and five others are approximately six weeks old.

Drever says all the animals were dirty and smelled of feces and urine. "Their paws were urine stained and they had overgrown nails," she added.

It is unknown when the rescued animals will be available for adoption, according to the BC SPCA.

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