The BC SPCA has removed 12 small dogs in distress from a Vancouver Island breeder following a public complaint.
Four adult dogs and eight three-month-old puppies were removed on Tuesday by animal protection officers due to a lack of veterinary care.
The BC SPCA says there were also concerns raised that the dogs had been exposed to canine parvovirus, a highly contagious and potentially deadly gastrointestinal illness.
One of the dogs is a Shih Tzu-cross, while the others are all Chihuahua crosses.
“Our officers attended the property on Feb. 2 and found several concerns, including suspected parvovirus, signs of neurological issues, lameness, eye infections, severe dental disease and ear infections,” Eileen Drever, senior officer, protection and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA, said in a statement.
The animals have been taken to local veterinary facilities for examination and treatment. They are now receiving ongoing care at the BC SPCA in Victoria.
Pregnant females and mothers with pups from the group will be transferred to SPCA foster homes for around-the-clock support.
The BC SPCA says they are still investigating the case and the dogs are not available for adoption at this time.
Evidence in the investigation will be handed over to Crown counsel, who will determine if charges are necessary.
A representative for the BC SPCA told Victoria Buzz that in the event the animals are taken into legal custody, the owners can file an appeal.
If the appeal fails and the animals remain in the custody of the BC SPCA, they will be put up for adoption.