NEW HOMES

Six­teen dogs seized re­cently by the P.E.I. Hu­mane So­ci­ety have all been adopted.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MAU­REEN COUL­TER mau­reen.coul­ter@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/Mau­reenEl­izaC

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.

MAU­REEN COUL­TER/THE GUARDIAN

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.

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