Few people who have their animals seized in B.C. mean them any harm.
In most cases, animals are found malnourished and sick because of either simple greed – in the case of puppy mills – or because of a lack of resources.
The SPCA has already ruled out any suggestion that the animals seized Monday were part of a puppy mill operation. They were there because their caregiver wanted to rescue them.
But they were also, according to the SPCA, not in good condition. They were on a relatively small property, with no kennel license. Their caregiver has run a rescue organization for years. Although its stated purpose has been to rescue elderly animals, particularly dogs, in Langley, a wide variety of small livestock was also removed from the property.
Animal rescue organizations vary widely in the amount of resources they are able to bring to bear.
At one end are the SPCA and municipal shelters, which have the resources of the taxpayers behind them. Then there are a host of professionally-run volunteer organizations, like Critter Care or CARES.
Unfortunately, there are also small organizations and individuals with little to no money, and a willingness to take in many animals.
The people running these smaller or one-person operations may have the best intentions. But if they don’t set limits, they will wind up doing as much harm as good. In some cases, these operations can veer into simple animal hoarding.
Langley and its neighbours, with their rural acreages, are particularly attractive to shelters of all kinds. It would be a kindness to animals everywhere if local officials kept an eye on such operations whenever possible, before the SPCA has to step in.