Two southern Alberta dog breeders were charged Wednesday with offences under the Animal Protection Act after 41 dogs, smelling heavily of urine and severely matted, were surrendered from a rural property just east of Calgary about three months ago. A concerned citizen originally alerted officials to the breeding operation.
The Border Collie and 40 Shih Tzus ranged from puppies to 11 years old, and included a pregnant dog and a mother that had just given birth.
“Many of them have rotten teeth, eye infections, hernias and severe ear infections,” Deanna Thompson, executive director of the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) said in a statement at the time they were surrendered.
The charges include keeping animals in distress, failing to provide adequate care for ill or wounded animals, and failing to provide adequate shelter, ventilation and space.
“Backyard breeders” Doraine Jensen and Bjarne Jensen of Cheadle, Alta., are set to appear in Strathmore Provincial Court April 4.
“During the course of her investigation in November 2015, our peace officer convinced the Jensens to voluntarily surrender 41 of their dogs,” Alberta SPCA spokesperson Roland Lines said in a release. “Those dogs were transferred to the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), which took over their care and the job of finding them new homes.”
The SPCA said the decision to lay charges was impacted by veterinary reports on the condition of the surrendered dogs.
“One of the troubling aspects of this case is that the breeders falsely advertised themselves as being ‘SPCA Inspected’ when the Alberta SPCA doesn’t have an approval or certification program for any animal operations,” Lines said in a statement. “It doesn’t happen often, but the public should be cautious of anyone who says we’ve approved their business.”
Lines noted a small number of Alberta farms are part of the British Columbia SPCA certified program.
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