March 28, 2019 5:53 pm
Updated: March 28, 2019 6:45 pm

Decision on charges stemming from Vernon-area animal seizure could take months

An extended interview with the SPCA's regional manager for cruelty investigations. The society executed a search warrant on an Irish Creek Road property on Monday.

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It could be months before a decision is made about whether or not charges are warranted in connection with the seizure of dozens animals from a north Okanagan property this week.

The BC SPCA said it seized 46 horses, four dogs and four pigs when it executed a search warrant on an Irish Creek Road property on Monday, March 25.

The SPCA seized dozens of animals, including four dogs, from a North Okanagan ranch on Monday.

Courtesy: SPCA

On Thursday, the SPCA said in an email to Global News that while the four dogs have already been examined by veterinarians, the society was still working to have the large number of horses examined.

Before a determination on whether charges are warranted can be made, the SPCA said that the vets need to finish their work. Any evidence the veterinarians collect, the organization added, must be gathered together in a report to Crown counsel.

READ MORE: Vernon rancher under the microscope again


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The SPCA said that due to the prosecutor’s case load, it can take months for a decision on whether charges are warranted.

A BC SPCA spokesperson said it executed the warrant because it wasn’t “satisfied that the owner had made the necessary changes” after orders where issued “for changes that were required to relieve the distress of the animals.”

READ MORE: Animal welfare advocates fear for safety of animals at ranch near Vernon

“The issues of concern related to inadequate food, water and shelter,” the BC SPCA said in a statement to media.

The owner of the ranch where the animals where seized has previously denied neglecting her animals and told Global News the ranch was “actively trying to downsize and not intentionally breeding.”

— with files from Kelly Hayes

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