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Crime

Williams Lake man facing 2 animal cruelty charges over 46 neglected dogs

One of 46 neglected dogs in severe psychological distress seized from a Williams Lake man.
One of 46 neglected dogs in severe psychological distress seized from a Williams Lake man. BC SPCA

A Williams Lake man is facing two charges of animal cruelty in relation to 46 neglected dogs seized from his rural property.

The BC SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker in February, which include American Eskimo, border collie, husky and Samoyed breeds.

READ MORE: Surrey breeder accused of animal abuse found guilty of causing distress to animals

The organization said the animals were highly unsocialized and fearful.

“The dogs were seized because of lack of shelter, poor sanitation and inadequate veterinary care but the biggest issue, once they were in our care, was that they were terrified of human contact,” said BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty.

One of 46 neglected dogs in severe psychological distress seized from a Williams Lake man.
One of 46 neglected dogs in severe psychological distress seized from a Williams Lake man. BC SPCA

She said BC SPCA veterinary and behavioural experts worked closely with the dogs to try and resocialize them.

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Adding to the challenge facing BC SPCA staff, several of the dogs gave birth while in care — but were too afraid of humans to let them near the puppies.

Moriarty said patient and specially-skilled staff were eventually able to get through to the new mothers and ensure their puppies got care.

READ MORE: Before and after: Once neglected and abused, these BC SPCA rescue dogs are loving life again

She said that while dealing with psychologically distressed animals can be a difficult and long-term undertaking, of the 46 seized animals, just eight remain in BC SPCA care.

“The fact that the majority of the dogs have responded to the behaviour modification to the point that we were able to adopt them into new homes is quite incredible, given the condition they were in when they were seized,” Moriarty said.

If convicted, Baker could face a maximum fine of $10,000, up to five years in prison and a lifetime ban on animal ownership.

READ MORE: Surrey breeder accused of animal abuse found guilty of causing distress to animals