A VPD K9 officer met one of the rescued puppies from a suspected Langley puppy mill.

Langley animal seizures prompt legal changes

Seizures from local puppy mills in Langley have led to the province pledging tougher pet laws.

The last of the 66 dogs seized from a Glen Valley puppy mill is about to be adopted into a home.

“All but one of the Langley dogs are in their new adopted homes now,” said Lorie Chortyk, BCSPCA’s general manager of community relations.

The final dog’s adoption is pending but the vet bills are still being added up. The BC SPCA expects the figure to run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

The BC SPCA seized 66 dogs on Feb. 4, 32 adult animals and 34 puppies, from a Glen Valley property.

Only days later, the SPCA also raided a boarding and breeding facility in the 19400 block of Colebrook Road, seizing 69 cats and 15 dogs.

Both seizures were among the largest in the SPCA’s history, prompting the province to pledge tougher pet laws.

B.C.’s Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick unveiled the new regulation under the Prevention of Cruelty Act. B.C. is looking to adopt the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Codes of  Practice.

The change would require licensing breeders, and for them to register with the province. B.C. is looking at possible “proactive monitoring and enforcement of cat and dog breeders,” the proposal said.

The regulation is currently an order in council and the province is looking for public input until May 20.

There’s a survey link on the provincial website announcement about the dog and cat breeding consultations.

The province is looking at adopting standards of care that dictate how often cleaning and sanitizing must be done, pen sizes, and how soon vet care must be obtained. That would allow the province to take action against a breeder not meeting the standards even if their actions don’t result in distress to an animal.

Animal cruelty cases are investigated by the BC SCPA but locally, the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) handles unwanted pets and adoptions, and is contracted by the Township and City to provide bylaw enforcement and impoundment.

“I think that these changes are a great first step in helping to ensure the welfare of animals that are being used for breeding purposes,” said Jayne Nelson, LAPS manager of animal welfare. “Implementing standards like a Code of Practice for Canadian Kennel Operations will help educate and create public awareness around how good breeders house and care for their animals.”

LAPS welcomed the province’s move.

“We feel this is a very positive step forward,” Nelson said. “Establishing a standard of care is important and should ultimately help organizations that enforce animal welfare.”

As for the pets seized in Langley, Chortyk said preparing reports for Crown counsel is time-consuming because there are so many animals in each case, each requiring vet reports and other paperwork.

“Our cruelty investigations department expect to have their reports in to Crown counsel very shortly,” she said.

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