“There is absolutely nothing wrong with the dogs,” Marisa Panter, owner of the Rainbow Dreams Dachshund Company, told Global News. “They are all under vet care.”
Panter said she has been given 14 days to apply to get her dogs back, but is frustrated because the BC SPCA told her she must build a kennel for the animals, something that she said is unsuitable for the family-raised animals.
“These are dachshunds. They’re family dogs. They’re not meant to be in a barn by themselves,” Panter said.
“They’re barking up the wrong tree. I have no idea what their problem is.”
The 38 dogs, 10 adults and 28 puppies, were said to be kept in unacceptable conditions and being bred for profit, according to a release from the BC SPCA.
Panter said 12 of the seized dogs — three adult females and nine puppies — belonged to her mother and were only with them temporarily.
“Some of the dogs we have here are spayed and have been here for eight years. They were born here,” said the registered dog breeder.
The BC SPCA claims the miniature dachshunds were living in “substandard and filthy conditions, in cages and other areas with excessive feces, high levels of ammonia from urine and surrounded by injurious objects. The dogs were poorly socialized and very fearful.”
Panter said all of the claims are far-fetched.
“There was one pile of poop on a puppy pad holder on seven-week-old puppies,” she said. “They showed up here first thing in the morning before we cleaned any pens. The pens were not in distress at all.”
The BC SPCA performed the inspection, according to Panter, because someone falsely reported they had 80 puppies on the premises.
A B.C. Interior woman who said she adopted two dogs from Panter, and has known her for six years, said she’s struggling with the SPCA’s claims.
“I’m very surprised at this because this isn’t who Marisa is,” Jolene Bowen told Global News. “She is being painted as something she is not.”
“I’ve never seen a lady ever take care of animals the way Marisa does,” Bowen said. “She has given the utmost care to her animals.”
“Her home has never been a mess.”
Janine Coulter, who adopted her puppy from Panter last December, said the animal was healthy and well socialized when they brought it home.
“I don’t get it really,” Coulter told Global News. “I think the BC SPCA jumped the gun a little bit here.”
Another recent customer of Panter, who wanted to remain anonymous, noted the property where the dogs were being raised is cluttered, but the dogs were treated very well.
Panter also said BC SPCA concerns about ammonia levels and dog feces led to B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Families being called in to inspect the home 45 minutes later — because of their four-year-old daughter.
“If our home was in so much disarray, how did we clean it in 45 minutes?” asked Panter. “The ministry passed our house for our four-year-old.”
When it comes to a claim about being a for-profit breeder, Panter said they only charge what it costs to raise the animals, a sum ranging between $1,000 and $1,500 per puppy.
“Each puppy costs us at least $1,200,” she said. “That’s not including if I have to have a $3,000 c-section or if we have to bottle-feed puppies at about $20 a day.
“We maybe make about $1,000 profit a year. Maybe.”
According to Panter, prior to the seizure two weeks ago, two of the litters were c-section puppies, and her mother was visiting to assist her.
While there are claims the dogs were under-socialized and fearful, Panter said that’s because those under a year old had not seen anyone but family in the last year due to the pandemic.
The BC SPCA is caring for the dogs until a decision is made about whether or not to return the dogs to the Panter and her mother.
They are asking for donations to help offset the cost of their care.