A man convicted of animal cruelty in Saskatchewan has been ordered to pay the BC SPCA over $46,000 in respect of costs of care in relation to 46 dogs that were seized from a rural property north of Williams Lake in February 2018.
Terry Baker lost an appeal to keep 10 of those animals in a 35 page decision by the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board.
“We do definitely try to share information between provinces. So, in this case, this individual is certainly highlighted in our system and we’ll make sure that that information gets out as much as possible because it’s always very difficult when you’re dealing with repeat offenders,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA.
“It was a very sad case where these dogs were very, very undersocialized, and they really had no interaction with humans, with everyday sights and sounds that you would have in an everyday home environment so they’ve needed months and months of rehabilitation and daily work. Many of them are coming along really well responding to the rehabilitation-others are still struggling, but we’re doing absolutely everything we can to work with them and try to get them up to a point where they would be available for adoption.”
The B.C. Farm Industry Review Board said in the April 16, 2018 decision that even if the lack of socialization was caused in part by the in-breeding permitted by the appellant (which reflects a lack of proper veterinary care), he was required to take his dogs as he found them.
“Where, as here, had dogs, in great numbers and with special needs for socialization, his failure to properly address those needs in our view constituted neglect that warranted action by the Society, which neglect also includes a considerable element of failure to obtain proper veterinary care (to prevent breeding), failure to provide adequate fresh water (as reflected by the fact that several adult dogs were observed to be eating snow on the property), failure to provide non-competitive access to food (resulting in differing body conditions cores of the animals, despite the availability of food), and failure to provide appropriate shelter for all of the animals,” stated the panel.
“We also find that animals were validly removed on the grounds that the conditions in which they were kept were unsanitary at the date of the seizure, as reflected in the evidence and report of Dr. van Haaften…
We find that the removal of all of the dogs (including the 10 dogs the Appellant seeks to have returned) was justified on the basis that they were in distress.”
The BC SPCA according to Chortyk will be recommending charges of animal cruelty against Baker.
“It’s up to crown counsel if charges are laid or not,” says Chortyk.
“But that’s definitely our recommendation and we’ll just continue working with these dogs to try to get them in a situation where they can be re-homed. It may be that there are some cases where they just aren’t responding to the behavioral modification and are still terrified day and night. It’s not humane to keep them in that situation so as we go along some difficult decisions may have to be made, but we’ll always do whatever is in the best interest of the animals.”
“We’re certainly not going to give up on them at all.”