LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A man who had 101 dogs seized from his house in southern Alberta has voluntarily surrendered the animals to the Alberta SPCA.
Roland Lines of the Alberta SPCA says they went to the home in the Varsity Village area of Lethbridge on March 24, where they found 101 dogs running around inside.
Lines says two of the dogs were young, large breed dogs, while the rest were small dogs, mostly chihuahuas and pomeranians, of varying ages and conditions.
He says two needed surgery and the majority need some type of medical treatment.
The investigation is ongoing and charges are possible.
Since the dogs were seized, one had three puppies, so there are now a total of 104 dogs.
Line said when the SPCA seizes animals, there is a 10 day hold period during which time the owner can try to reclaim animals.
"Before the 10 days were up, he decided to voluntarily surrender them to us," Lines said. "What that means is that we could immediately start making arrangements for them to be moved over to organizations that do animal adoptions."
It is unclear at this time how soon the dogs will be available for adoption. They need to be spayed or neutered, and many of them will need a period of veterinary care before they are healthy enough for adoption.
The City of Lethbridge says 12 dogs were signed over to the Lethbridge Animal Shelter on Thursday and will be available for viewing by the public in approximately two weeks, once they have adjusted to their new environment and have a clean bill of health.
It's not clear how the person got so many animals, Lines said, and they may never find out.
"Our investigation is focusing on distress the dogs were experiencing and the care, or lack of it, from the owner," he said. "We may never collect the evidence that would tell us how they acquired the dogs, how many were acquired from outside versus how many were bred outside the house."
The Alberta SPCA relies on calls from the public when an animal may be in distress. In this case, the animals were seized after someone called with concerns about the dogs' welfare.
The Canadian Press