Update 3:30 P.M. FEB 4, 2014:
As a cruelty investigation is still underway, the 16 dogs seized from a rural area in Clearwater are not yet the property of the BCSPCA.
The dogs are currently being sheltered in Kelowna and Penticton shelters but are not available to be fostered or adopted yet. The investigation must be completed before both branches can legally take ownership says Kaylyn Robinson of the Kelowna shelter.
"Once they are legally ours we can spay and neuter the dogs, after that we can place them up for adoption and they will appear on our website."
Robinson says the BCSPCA would like to thank those who have been calling the shelter and offering to help, but the best way to help these neglected dogs is to donate.
"We are certainly excepting donations on behalf of these guys and the treatment they need to receive," she says.
"We do have specific volunteers and have specific foster homes in mind if we do need to foster these guys as they will be a special case."
It is unclear when the investigation will conclude and what the findings will be, meaning the dogs could be returned to the owner or the dogs could be put up for adoption.
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The BC SPCA has seized a large group of dogs and two horses from a rural property in Clearwater.
Constable Kent Kokoska, senior animal protection officer with the BC SPCA, says the 16 dogs – mostly poodles and golden retriever crosses – were badly neglected, filthy and living in unacceptable conditions.
The horses were also keep in poor conditions and found with matted hair, and chipped hooves.
“We are grateful to the Clearwater RCMP for bringing this case to our attention,” said Kokoska. “Our 26 SPCA constables have extensive areas to cover across BC and we respond to more than 7,000 complaints of animal cruelty each year, so it is very helpful for us to have the support of communities in reporting cases of suspected abuse or neglect.”
He calls the level of neglect “very disturbing” and says charges of cruelty are pending.
The dogs are receiving treatment at BC SPCA facilities in Penticton and Kelowna and the horses are being cared for in Kamloops.
Two dogs and one calf were also found dead on the property.