SPCA shelter crowded after seizure of 35 dogs from Wolfville puppy mill
WOLFVILLE, N.S. -- Twenty-nine dogs and six puppies were seized from an alleged puppy mill near Wolfville, N.S., on Tuesday morning.
"One of the biggest concerns was their well-being and the unsanitary conditions," said Jo-Anne Landsburg, the chief provincial inspector for the Nova Scotia SPCA.
Investigators with the Nova Scotia SPCA say it was a lengthy probe.
The organization's chief provincial inspector says they were tipped off back in September by a member of the public.
"Since then we had been working with the owner to bring the conditions up to standards," Landsburg said. "We were not successful with that."
Using a search warrant, the dogs were all removed Tuesday morning.
The size of the seizure is putting a lot of stress on the shelter's resources.
Landsburg says the 35 animals are still being evaluated and she expects to have an update on their condition in the coming days.
"They're severely traumatized at this point right now," Landsburg said. "So they're very fearful and a lot of anxiety they're experiencing."
A Halifax veterinarian says the dogs will likely need "exceptional care" for the remainder of their lives.
"They're going to be suffering a lot of psychological trauma when they're re-introduced to the world," said Dr. Krista Simonson of the Halifax Veterinary Hospital."They're not going to know what a car sounds like, what footsteps sound like, they're not even going to know what a running faucet sounds like, so the whole world around them is absolutely terrifying."
Simonson says there could a multitude of health issues too, including skin problems and chronic infections.
For the most part, puppy mills are uncommon in Nova Scotia.
Landsburg says as the investigation continues, charges may be laid.
"A prohibition on ownership, so that's what we would be seeking once we determine what charges could be laid in this case," said Landsburg.
The dog's owner has seven days from the seizure to appeal the process.
Once that period is over, the animals will officially become property of the SPCA.
There was another unrelated case being investigated in northern New Brunswick.
The New Brunswick SPCA says 53 dogs were seized from a registered breeding kennel west of Campbellton.
SPCA officials in the Maritimes urge anyone who notices animal abuse or neglect anywhere in the region to contact them.