Chris Ness and his dog

Dogs seized from Langley puppy mill one year ago reunite

Owners who adopted dogs from the group known as the Langley 66 hosted a canine reunion.

PHOTO: Emma and Sofia Jamal accept the prize for the costume contest, won by Luna in her space suit. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Owners marked the one year anniversary of when their adopted dogs were seized by the BC SPCA at a Langley puppy mill.

The dogs, know as the Langley 66, were adopted out and many of the owners gathered for a reunion Feb. 4 at the Cloverdale Agriplex.

The BC SPCA seized 66 dogs on Feb. 4, 2016. There were 32 adult animals and 34 puppies found at a Glen Valley property.

The group had gathered summer 2016 and decided to hold for the first anniversary.

Surrey lawyer Chris Ness said he sees a big difference in the dogs just since the summer get-together.

His Emily is still a bit clingy with him but she’s so much less afraid of strangers than she used to be and has even become a registered therapy dog.

“When I first brought her home, she wouldn’t even drink from a bowl,” he noted. “She was worried about trying to do the right thing.”

The weather kept some dog owners away and some of the SPCA staff couldn’t get there but BC SPCA officer Christine Carey spent the morning greeting dogs big and small.

“I gotta tell ya, it’s a little bit overwhelming for me,” the SPCA officer said.

She first met the dogs when they were filthy, huddling in cages at the puppy mill. Many required medical attention.

Some dogs had broken limbs, missing ears and eyes, infections and abscesses, dental disease, and severely matted and feces-caked fur. They were also malnourished.

At the time, SPCA chief enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said the dogs and puppies were kept in small stacked cages in dark, unheated buildings. There were dangerous ammonia levels from accumulated urine.

“These are not the same dogs I saw almost a year ago,” Carey said. “The very fact that they are being able to run and play, to see each other is just remarkable.”

Carey praised the people who adopted the dogs because abused animals require extra care.

Emma Jamal said they adopted their poodle/Portuguese water dog, Luna, at about the age of three months. Luna was seven weeks old when the animals were seized.

“She was one of a litter of puppies, one of the five puppies that was rescued,” Emma said. “She’s really gentle dog.”

The adoptive families used the occasion to give a donation to the SPCA.

PHOTO: Heather Burt volunteers at the BC SPCA’s Vancouver branch were many of the 66 were taken. She worked with all that were there and is amazed at their progress. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Heather Burt lives near the SPCA’s Vancouver branch and cared for many of the Langley 66. Most of the dogs were sent to the Vancouver facility before they were adopted. She’s thrilled to see the dogs, coming from such awful conditions, thriving with their adopted families.

“It just gives me a feeling of such hope for the world,” she said.

PHOTO: Melissa and Lee came from Maple Ridge with their old English sheep dog, Shadow, and Shadow’s dog Harry. Shadow rescued from the puppy mill and Harry was adopted as a companion. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)