BC SPCA officials seized nearly five dozen animals in various states of distress from a property in south Cloverdale Tuesday.
Investigating a complaint, constables found severely neglected dogs, horses and cats.
Fifty-seven animals were removed from the property.
“We applied for a warrant and did not expect as many animals as we removed,” said Eileen Drever, senior animal protection officer, describing the degree of neglect as “up there” compared to other cases.
“Definitely, it’s disgusting.
“I don’t understand people, when they can’t afford to care for their animals, they should be responsible and try to re-home them instead of, basically, hoarding.”
In all, 35 dogs – including golden retrievers, Dalmatians and Pomeranians – 16 horses and six cats were seized from conditions that kept them without proper access to water, food or shelter.
The horses’ hooves “are just grossly overgrown,” Drever said.
An animal cruelty investigation is underway, and Drever said additional orders were issued for other animals on the property that were also found in distress.
If the owner does not comply, “we’ll have to go back,” she said.
The seized dogs were initially taken to the Vancouver SPCA for examination and triage, but will be distributed to shelters across the Lower Mainland for ongoing care and adoption.
With the exception of five stallions, the horses are now at the Surrey shelter.
Costs of treating the animals are expected to reach around $20,000.
Chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said donations to the effort will be greatly appreciated, as will any help the public can provide in finding permanent homes. She noted that horses are particularly difficult to adopt out, given their specialized needs and the costs of equine care.
Donations can be made online at spca.bc.ca/medicalemergency or by calling 604-681-7271.