Over two dozen animals — including several puppies — have been seized from a farm in northern B.C. after they were left tied up outside in the winter weather.
The BC SPCA rescued 13 dogs, seven young puppies and seven horses from the remote property in Cheslatta, south of Burns Lake.
Six of the puppies were less than two days old, while the other was three weeks old.
An SPCA statement said the dogs had been "tethered" outside. The horses, some of which were pregnant mares, had no water or shelter and "limited access" to food.
"They were eating snow for hydration," said Const. Dale Bakken.
The officer said the man who owns the farm only lives there in the summer. During the winter months, he only visits on evenings and weekends.
SPCA officials had to take a ferry to reach the property. It was –15 C during the seizure.
The dogs are now being cared for at the North Cariboo SPCA branch in Prince George. The horses are staying with an equine rescue group in the same city.
The SPCA said its investigation is ongoing and that it may be recommending charges of animal cruelty.