The B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) seized 30 dogs from an Okanagan breeder this week, after they were found in what the SPCA described as "terrible living conditions."
"It's just really, really heartbreaking because they are sentient beings," said Eileen Drever, senior officer with the BC SPCA.
The dogs, most of them underweight, were found in small crates on bedding soiled with urine and feces, exposed to high ammonia levels, and suffering from overgrown nails, dental disease, and skin conditions, the SPCA said in a release.
The release also said the dogs, ranging in age from four months to five years, are not socialized and are fearful, were kept in a basement, and had only occasional outside access.
The dogs were found in a basement where urine had soaked through dog crates into the wooden shelves they were placed on, according to the SPCA. (BC SPCA)
Drever said animal protection officers attended the breeder's property after receiving a tip from the public, and issued a notice to the owner to improve conditions.
Officers returned this Monday, during which they saw the situation had not changed. Drever said the owners surrendered three dogs to the SPCA that day.
The following day, officers returned to seize 30 additional dachshunds. The organization is now caring for all 33 dogs.
"We gave them an opportunity to rectify the problem and they failed to do so," she said.
The dogs are under veterinary care and are not currently available for adoption, according to Drever.
"I'm really thrilled to say that they're receiving lots of love and attention that they deserve right now."
Drever says the majority of the seized dogs were thin, but a couple were very underweight. (BC SPCA)
Shannon Charron, a dachshund owner and member of the Western Dachshund Club, says the dogs were bred as hunting dogs, and require mental and physical stimulation in order to not become agitated.
"They're really intelligent and they like having a job to do," said Charron. "They need to stay busy: mind, body, and nose."
Charron says dachshunds who have not been properly socialized may have a hard time acclimating to everyday life.
"It's just a really terrible thing to happen to dogs and they don't deserve it."
Ensure breeder is reputable: SPCA
Drever recommends those purchasing a dog to make sure they are getting it from a reputable breeder, and that they are a member of the Canadian Kennel Club.
She also recommends prospective dog owners to look in the breeder's home to see the dog's parents and their living conditions.
"Do not just go and meet somebody in a parking lot and purchase a puppy from them because what we're doing is encouraging these people to line their pockets," said Drever.
This seizure comes after the B.C. SPCA seized 16 Yorkshire terriers and a Pomeranian from a breeder in the North Okanagan last week.