Constables from the B.C. SPCA removed 45 dogs, including one deceased adult and nine puppies, from a home north of Victoria on Tuesday.
Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the B.C. SPCA, said in a statement that the miniature poodle-bichon frise crosses belonged to a hoarder who "allowed them to breed unchecked in the home." He sold some of the dogs to the public on occasion, but primarily wanted to keep them for himself.
"The number had escalated to the point where the animals were not getting adequate care and the living conditions jeopardized the welfare and safety of the animals," said Ms. Chortyk.
B.C. SPCA inspected the owner's Brentwood Bay home a few times in the past year and instructed him to voluntarily find new homes for some of the dogs. Until recently, however, the situation was never serious enough to meet the definition of distress under the B.C. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The animal welfare organization obtained a warrant and seized the dogs on Tuesday. It is conducting an investigation and will forward evidence to Crown Counsel.
"These kinds of hoarding cases are always very sad, and our goal is to protect the animals and to ensure that an individual does not have custody of more animals than he or she can properly care for," said Ms. Chortyk.
Ms. Chortyk said the dogs are "doing well" and are being bathed, groomed, and treated for parasites and other minor medical issues at the SPCA branch in Victoria. They will be available for adoption as early as February, if and when legal custody of the dogs is finalized.