Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Ontario Puppy Mill Investigated

Eight small-breed dogs that appear to be Shih Tzu-poodle mixes are recovering at the Perth County branch of the OSPCA in Stratford following their rescue from an alleged puppy mill in the Bruce-Grey area. OSPCA branch manager Ward McAlister said the breeding dogs were found covered in urine and feces. A couple of the dogs were so matted they were hardly recognizable as dogs, he said. Others were roughly clipped, but all were found in unsanitary condition.

Three of the eight are males and were housed in an unheated shed where their water was frozen and no bedding was provided. The five females were kept in what the OSPCA said was "a makeshift kennel in an old greenhouse that was also home to three steers and 30 chickens where the ammonia inside the greenhouse was so strong the OSPCA inspector reported not being able to breathe." McAlister said many orders had been issued to the owner of the dogs. On a third visit to the premises, the owner opted to surrender the animals rather than make the required improvements.

Two of the rescued male dogs were already neatly clipped and settled in at the Douro St. shelter Saturday. They seemed eager to connect with a visiting stranger and were friendly with animal care attendant Stephanie Lobsinger. "They're going to need somebody that will work with them. Their personalities are very friendly," said McAlister. "Now that we've had them for 48 hours, they are all coming around."

Barney, a three-year-old white dog, and Buddy, who is mostly black with white paws, had been cleaned up and clipped courtesy of Margo's Pet Grooming and Rover's Ranch. "They stepped forward. We really appreciate it," said McAlister, a former senior inspector for the OSPCA. The dogs have never been on a leash and don't know how to interact with people, he said.

The condition in which the animals were found is indicative of a puppy mill, said McAlister. "They don't really care about the breeding animals. All they care about are the puppies." While Barney and Buddy were much improved from Thursday when they were brought to the shelter, the females were scared and at best hesitant to make friends. Some were shaking and staying well back in their cages.

Read more at www.stratfordbeaconherald.com

Here's another recent story on a Muskoka puppy mill.

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