'Close to 40 animals' surrendered to humane society

The owner of "close to 40 animals" has surrendered them to the P.E.I. Humane Society, said Jennifer Harkness, the organization's development and communications manager.

The surrender occurred in the last week of January. The society says it can't provide details of the surrender, but confirmed it included dogs and cats, and that surrenders typically occur when owners are not able to care for their animals.

"Our team quickly got into action to set up a couple of rooms here at the shelter so that we could isolate the animals before their health assessments so they weren't interacting with the rest of the population," Harkness said. 

Harkness said the surrender occurred voluntarily and rather quickly with the assistance of about 20 people at the shelter.

"It was a little chaotic, but our team was great," she said. "We were well organized, so we had spoken to the owner prior to the surrender, so we knew what to expect." 

Large surrender for P.E.I.

The surrendered animals are in various stages of being adopted, the society said. Some have already gone to new homes while others are waiting, being fostered or receiving medical attention.

Natalia Goodwin/CBC

Surrenders of this size are uncommon for the P.E.I Humane Society. A large surrender would typically be 10 cats or a few dogs.

Harkness said they are happy when owners are willing to work with them, and recognize that the humane society can provide care and find the right homes for animals, but warned against the spreading of false information on social media in relation to this case. 

"Before people jump to conclusions and, you know, they're wondering why we're not speaking out about particular animals in our care, there's lots of different reasons," Harkness said.

"We're doing the best we can with the resources we have, and of course, within the laws of Prince Edward Island."

The P.E.I. Humane Society said it cannot confirm whether an investigation into the matter is underway, or whether any charges may come of the surrender.

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