Camping v BCSPCA, 2006 BCSC 1640 (CanLII)

Camping brings this proceeding for the return of his dogs, which were seized by the BCSPCA pursuant to section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

An officer of the BCSPCA went to Camping’s premises and observed two dogs tethered to doghouses close to the residences on the property, as well as a group of 48 adult dogs located some distance away from the residence. Some of these were tethered and others were not. All of the dogs were later seized on the basis of a warrant. The officer had made the following observations: most of the dogs within the kennel area were running loose and not approachable; one dog had a pronounced limp in his front leg; one young puppy had severe mange covering its entire body, with patches of fur missing from its head and body; a female dog also had a significant amount of fur missing and a skin condition; another dog was persistently scratching its neck so that its body was patchy, with exposed skin, so that the officer believed it might be infected with parasites; approximately 20 doghouses were being used to shelter the dogs and eight doghouses were not being used, as they were tipped over; the dogs with houses were kept on six to eight foot chain tethers affixed to their doghouses; there were skeletal remains belonging to a bovine located within the kennel; there was no food available for, or accessible to, any of the dogs being kept in the kennel; there was almost no water available to the dogs kept in the kennel; and there were several thin-looking dogs, including two of which appeared to be emaciated.

When the officer returned with a search warrant, he further observed that: again, most of the dogs were running loose; approximately 20 dogs were tethered to doghouses; most of the dogs were in very thin body condition; many had moderate to severe skin conditions, so that their fur was patchy, exposed skin was red and inflamed and lesions were apparent; the only water apparently available to the dogs consisted of a few rusted cans containing an inch or two of water, and these had insects swimming in them; there were many fecal piles throughout the kennel and very large accumulation of feces around the tethered dogs; there was apparently no food available for any of the dogs; one adult female sled dog was emaciated and had a severe skin condition, and her nails were so badly overgrown that they had curled upwards and had begun to grow into the pads of her feet; and one dog had a neglected neck injury, where its collar was grossly embedded into its neck and there was a gaping wound surrounded by oozing pus and dead skin – the dog was later euthanized.

In reaching its decision to seize the dogs, the court finds that the BCSCPA took into consideration the observations of the officer; the responding phone message from Camping; and the history between Camping and the Society. Camping had been seized of some 70 dogs by the Society in 2004.

The judge finds that the seizure was lawful and dismisses the petition for judicial review of the BCSPCA’s decision to seize the dogs. The petition is dismissed in its entirety. Costs are awarded to the SPCA.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: British Columbia

Topics: costsdismisseddogsemaciatedembedded collarfoodhoardingmangeparasitesPrevention of Cruelty to Animals Actrunning loosesearch warrantseizureskin conditionsSPCAtetheredwater

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