A timid Connie takes a nervous step toward her new owner, who rewards the dog’s courage with a quick pat and encouraging words.
Two months after she was rescued from a Langley puppy mill by the SPCA, the five-year-old poodle-wheaten terrier cross has made a remarkably quick physical recovery.
She looks nothing like the photos of the neglected, matted and miserable canines rescued on Feb. 4 when the SPCA seized 66 dogs.
Her new owner (who asked not to be identified) describes Connie as an intelligent, eager-to-please dog who has suffered an obvious emotional trauma.
Connie’s new home is a Langley farm where she has room to roam and another dog to play with.
It’s a far cry from the cramped cages and unsanitary conditions the SPCA reported.
At the time of the raid, the animal protection agency issued a statement that said the 66 dogs were kept in “deplorable conditions, with multiple dogs living in small, stacked crates and cages, in dark, unheated buildings with dangerous ammonia levels from accumulated urine.”
The SPCA went on to say the dogs had serious medical and psychological issues, that included “broken limbs, missing ears and eyes, infections and abscesses, poor nutrition, dental disease, severe matting, fur caked in dried feces and overgrown nails.”
Now, most of the dogs have recovered enough to find new homes.
As of the end of March, 52 of the 66 dogs have been adopted, and the agency expects the rest will soon find homes, too.
As well, three of the dogs that were seized have given birth to 22 puppies which will also need permanent homes.
Unlike their mothers, the puppies will get to grow up in considerably better circumstances, Vancouver SPCA branch manager Charlotte Ellice notes.
“They’re all healthy, all doing well, all in great foster homes, getting all the socialization they need,” Elli ce says.
The SPCA is recommending charges under the Criminal Code of Canada in the case.
A report is being assembled by the SPCA investigators and should be presented to the Crown office for prosecution in the next few weeks.
The SPCA says the raid represents one of the largest puppy mill seizures in B.C. history.
The 32 adult dogs and 34 puppies, includes Old English sheepdogs, Bernese mountain dogs, soft-coated wheaten terriers, standard poodles, miniature poodles and Portuguese water dogs.
The 22 newly arrived puppies are wheaten terriers, Portuguese water dogs and Bernese mountain dogs.
The BC SPCA investigates more than 10,000 complaints of animal cruelty across B.C. each year and is funded primarily by commu nity donations.
Suspected abuse cases can be reported to the SPCA animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722.
For more information, visit spca.bc.ca.