Sixteen dogs seized recently by the P.E.I. Humane Society have all been adopted.
Sixteen dogs seized by the P.E.I. Humane Society in June all have new homes.
The society said the small mixed-breed dogs, which ranged in age from three months to six years old, were living in unsafe and unclean conditions.
“The great thing is that we were able to intervene early enough,” said Jennifer Harkness, development co-ordinator with the P.E.I. Humane Society. “If the dogs were left in this condition then it could have led to other health viruses and conditions down the road.”
The dogs were seized from an undisclosed home breeder’s residence on June 2.
Harkness said they were living in a cluttered facility without sufficient protection from the elements and not enough natural light. The dogs were also dirty, matted and in desperate need of a grooming.
“The facility was not sanitary,” Harkness said.
Responding to a tip from the public, animal protection services officials from the society visited the residence in May and deemed it was not up to the standard under the new Animal Welfare Act.
The owner was given the opportunity to address the issues, but did not comply.
“We didn’t see any real change from our viewpoint,” said Harkness. “There was so much work to be done. Some of the clutter was cleaned out a little bit at this facility but most of the work in order to be up to code was not even close.”
The Animal Welfare Act Appeal Board ruled in favour of the society after the owner filed an appeal.
“There is strict regulations with the Animal Welfare Act now in regards to breeders,” said Harkness, who noted the document is 30-pages long.
“The focus of the new Animal Welfare Act is not waiting until an animal is in severe distress but actually making sure that the standards of care are there and that we can prevent anything happening in the future.”
Now, all kennel operators must follow the regulations under the Animal Welfare Act and the Canadian Kennel Code.
Harkness advises people to get familiarized with the strict regulations under the new act.
Consequences include having animals taken away, criminal charges (if the animal is in severe distress) and having to pay the costs associated with the care of the animals before adoption.
In the case with the 16 dogs, the boarding facility fees alone were between $9,000 and $10,000.
Harkness said the P.E.I. Humane Society received 650 animal protection complaints last year ranging from humane cases (abuse or neglect) to municipal bylaws (dogs at large or dog bites).
“We do expect with this new legislation that we will only get busier and now that we have more power to act on these cases it gives the opportunity to prevent more neglect from happening.”
Any tips are confidential and calls can made to animal protection officers at 892-1190 ext. 21.
The act can be found online at www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/legislation/animal-welfare-act.
Jennifer Harkness, development co-ordinator with the P.E.I. Humane Society, cuddles up with Beckie, one of the 16 dogs seized from a home breeder in P.E.I. due to unfit living conditions under the new Animal Welfare Act. The dogs, who are described as having wonderful personalities, all found new homes within two days.