Dozens of dogs are regaining their health after being seized from a Sask. farm earlier this month.
Seventy mixed-breed dogs were seized by Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS) from a farm near Riceton, around 50 kilometres southeast of Regina, on April 7.
“They’re very fearful, they definitely have some behavioural issues. They definitely weren’t socialized properly,” said Cathy Brin with the Saskatoon SPCA.
The Saskatoon SPCA received 40 of the 70 dogs into its care; the others were sent to shelters in Regina, Prince Albert.
“A few of them were ill, all of them had fleas – they’re all undergoing flea treatments…a lot of them had to go on medications for things initially,” Brin said.
The SPCA was able to lower their number to 21, with the help of other agencies, and as of Friday – five puppies from the farm had found new homes.
As for the older dogs, Brin said patience will be necessary has they continue on their journey to recovery and eventual adoption.
“They’re really looking for special people who understand the love they’re going to need,” she said.
The Riceton seizure is the second largest of its kind in the province’s history.
Since no charges have been laid, three dogs were returned to the owner in question, Terry Baker.
Baker has created a public Facebook group called The Facts of The Riceton, Saskatchewan Animal Seizures where he says the dogs were all his companions and he wants to get them back.
“One of them that he had claimed was particularly helpful to his ailing mother, I actually returned to him with no cost. Then he paid seizure expenses on two more and had those ones returned as well,” said Kaley Pugh, APSS executive director.
According to the APSS, the animal care act allows an owner to make arrangements to get back any seized animals– provided no charges have been laid.
With the rest of the dogs now in the care of shelters, that window of opportunity has closed.
“There’s no possibility of these existing dogs (at the shelter) being transferred back to the owner,” Brin said.
“They are property of the Saskatoon SPCA so they are legally ours…to work with and adopt out and find new owners for them.”
Brin said the best way for people to help the dogs now, is through monetary donations to cover expenses.
All dogs will undergo spay or neuter surgery as per shelter standards.
The SPCA will put the rest of the dogs up for adoption as soon as the animals are fit to be re-homed.
Charges are pending in the case, and the investigation is ongoing.
While only dogs were seized, Pugh said there were other animals – horses and chickens – whose care is being monitored by APSS.
No animals have been euthanized in this case.