Northern B.C. owners surrender 119 dogs to SPCA after getting overwhelmed

The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)
The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)
The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)
The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)
The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)
The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)The BC SPCA is appealing for donation to help care for 119 dogs recently surrendered in northern B.C. (BC SPCA)

The owners of 119 small dogs near Fort Nelson have surrendered them to the BC SPCA, the organization said Monday (March 15).

In a news release, the SPCA said that the 103 adult dogs and 16 puppies were a mix of Terriers, Shih Tzus, Papillions and other small-breed crosses. Marcie Moriarty, chief enforcement and prevention officer, said there was no evidence of animal cruelty or that the dogs were being bred for sale.

Moriarty said the dogs were taken to SPCA facilities in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek for initial intake and treatment, which included grooming and nail trims for the dogs with severely matted fur. Some dogs will also require treatment for dental issues, hernias, nose abrasions, eye issues and nutritional needs, while others are pregnant. The SPCA said many of the dogs are scared of people and will need ongoing support.

“We initially were prepared for the surrender of 22 dogs as this was the number given by the owners,” Moriarty said, adding that, as the number of dogs increased, the SPCA received help from the fire department and RCMP to source additional crates and help transport the animal in fire trucks.

“I can’t think of a case in recent memory that comes close to this one,” she said.

The 119 dogs, many with health issues and needing treatment, are a large financial strain on the SPCA, Moriarty said, with just the first three days of veterinary care costing more than $14,000.

Anyone wishing to donate to the dogs’ care can visit: https://spca.bc.ca/news/119-dogs. The dogs are not currently up for adoption.

READ MORE: Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns


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