A lengthy investigation into suspected animal cruelty has led to one of the largest dog seizures in the province’s history.
Last Thursday, 70 mixed-breed dogs were seized by Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS) from a farm near Riceton, around 50 kilometres southeast of Regina.
“They had wounds from fighting, they had parasite issues, they had fleas – their body condition was certainly not where it needed to be,” said Kaley Pugh, executive director of APSS.
The organization was able to take the animals after a veterinarian found issues with the dogs’ health and general care that had not been corrected since previous inspections.
Pugh said APSS was not able to remove all the dogs on the property, but will continue to monitor their care.
“It was a combination of factors; some of them we couldn’t catch, some of them were OK and some of them we just didn’t have space for,” she said.
A mandatory three-day holding period was put into effect after the seizure.
On Tuesday, Pugh said shelters in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina had taken in a large number of the dogs, many of whom will need extensive training before they can be adopted.
“The dogs are just basically not used to being handled by anyone other than their owner,” said Pugh.
“A lot of them are quite shy to the point of being quite fearful of strangers.”
Animal protection services has put out a call for any individuals or rescue groups who could help in the rehabilitation process.
Any groups willing to help are asked to contact any of the local shelters mentioned, or APSS.
Charges are pending in the case, and the investigation is ongoing.
No animals have been euthanized in this case.
A man named Terry Baker claims to be the owner of the dogs. He has created a public Facebook group called The Facts of The Riceton, Saskatchewan Animal Seizures where he says the dogs were all his companions and he wants to get them back.
Baker did not respond to a request for an interview on Tuesday.