Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, says the dogs are highly unsocialized and fearful.
“The dogs were seized because of lack of shelter, poor sanitation and inadequate veterinary care and are now in care in several SPCA shelters,” she said, in a news release.
She said SPCA veterinary and behavioural staff are overseeing the assessment and triage of the dogs and are developing treatment and behaviour modification plans.
“These dogs are terrified of human contact but we are doing everything we can to address their psychological distress through anti-anxiety medication and other treatments,” she said. “At this initial stage we’re focusing on reducing their emotion distress to the point where they can eat and drink and we will move forward step by step from there.”
She notes dealing with such serious psychological distress is a complex and long-term process.
“This is a very intensive undertaking, but we are doing everything we can to do what is in the best interests of these dogs. The best case scenario is that we can help these dogs adjust, through medication and rehabilitation, so that they can eventually be adopted. But even then they will likely need to go to very specialized homes where the adopters understand that the dogs may never want to be touched or have close interaction with their new guardians.”
Moriarty says the BC SPCA will be recommending animal cruelty charges to Crown counsel in the case.