More than 45 dogs have been seized by the BCSPCA from a half-acre property north of Williams Lake on Highway 97.
“They cannot be touched, they are very under socialized and [we had concerns about] lack of proper shelter and veterinary care. It’s pretty devastating for these dogs,” said Lorie Chortyk, BCSPCA general manager of community relations Monday, noting the dogs are being given anti-anxiety medication just to be able to feed them.
“At this point, one of the animals may have to be euthanized because even with the medication they are in such critical distress. These dogs are basically terrified.”
Chortyk said on Feb 22, the BCSPCA went to the property and rescued 46 dogs, consisting of American Eskimo, Husky, Border Collie and Samoyed-cross breeds.
“They were found under sheds and things like that, and basically left to fend for themselves.”
The dogs — ranging from puppies to adults and older dogs — are “extremely” fearful of humans, Chortyk said, noting they basically cannot be touched.
When the BCSPCA went in, it looked like the dogs were being fed by someone tossing food out for them, Chortyk said.
Since they were seized last week, the animals have been receiving veterinary care in Kelowna, Penticton and Quesnel and remain in the care of the BCSPCA.
The BCSPCA will be recommending charges to Crown Counsel, but will have to prepare 46 medical files for each of the rescued dogs before that can be done.
Unable to disclose the exact location of the property or identity of the owner, Chortyk said the BCSPCA has dealt with the owner of the dogs in the past and for the last few months was trying to get some of the animals surrendered and into care.
Chortyk said behaviour modification experts are working with the dogs.
However, even after months of rehabilitation, the animals may only be suitable to go to very “specialized” homes where people understand they may never want to be touched, she added.
“We are doing everything we can and are definitely putting all our resources into helping the dogs.”