Langley woman who had more than 80 animals seized has lost court appeal

Sandra Simans has been ordered to pay the SPCA $81,000

A Langley woman who is embroiled in issues with the SPCA— which seized numerous animals from her property — has had another appeal in dismissed by the court.

On Sept. 5, in New Westminster Supreme Court, Justice A. Saunders dismissed Sandra Simans’ request to strike down an order for her to pay $81,000 to the SPCA for costs the organization incurred in caring for the animals seized from her Langley property in 2016.

Simans, of 1atatime Rescue Society, petitioned the Supreme Court of B.C., seeking an order to strike down the Dec. 2, 2016 decision by the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board that Simans pay the SPCA $81,235.50 as the reasonable care costs it had incurred with respect to certain animals seized from Simans’ Langley property on Sept. 19, 2016, said the judgment.

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The decision followed the Oct. 7, 2016 internal review decision by the SPCA’s Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer that it was not in the animals’ best interest to be returned to Simans.

Simans operated an animal rescue operation through which she rescued animals and either placed them in adoptive homes or attempted to provide care for them herself. Simans primarily worked alone.

“The petitioners and the Society have a contentious history, dating back at least as far as 2009, which centres on the Society’s attempts to address the petitioners’ perceived failure to provide adequate space, exercise, clean environment, and veterinary services for the animals in their care,” cites Justice Saunders in the judgment.

The Society emphasized the need for the petitioners to reduce the number of animals in their care so they could adequately provide for them and keep them from falling into a state of distress. On June 13, 2012, the Society seized 68 animals — suffering from various physical ailments — from the petitioners’ care. Those animals were eventually returned to Simans.

On Aug. 20, 2016, the Society received a call from an individual who expressed concern for the animals in Simans’ care. A constable attended for an inspection on Aug. 24, 2016. Ultimately, the SPCA obtained and executed a warrant on Sept. 19. A veterinarian, Dr. Walton, attended during the warrant execution and examined the animals.

Dr. Walton observed that many of the animals were emaciated, lacking in basic hygiene, infected with fleas and tapeworms, and suffering from dental, skin, and other apparent diseases. He also recorded overcrowding in all areas of the facility and an inconsistent supply of water. The society seized 88 animals including 45 dogs, 18 cats, five goats, five chickens, five pigeons, three ducks, three sheep, one quail, one red-eared slider turtle, and one pot-bellied pig. The Society left three birds, a cat, and a rabbit. Three of the animals seized by the society (two dogs and a cat) were deemed to be in critical distress and were euthanized.

The SPCA returned to Simans’ 216 Street rental property in March this year. They removed 17 animals, including a female Ridgeback and her 10 puppies. The mother dog was suffering from untreated mastitis. Also seized was a greyhound, four cats and a rabbit with a broken leg.

At that seizure, Simans told the media that she is being harassed by the SPCA and that her animals are well cared for.