Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/12/2008 (3173 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
About 50 Labradoodles -- a cross between a Labrador and standard poodle -- were rescued last week and now need foster homes, Winnipeg Humane Society executive director Bill McDonald said.
"It's just proof that puppy mills are still out there and we are probably just seeing the tip of the iceberg," McDonald said, noting the owners of the recently busted puppy mill will be charged. "They are out there, we know that."
The seizure follows after a Free Press undercover investigation last summer, exposing Manitoba's backyard breeding problem.
The Labradoodles -- puppies, nursing mothers and pregnant dogs -- had mites and only contaminated water to drink.
An investigation led the province's animal protection officers to the puppy mill on Dec. 5. The dogs were taken away from the owner and placed in an animal-care facility northeast of Winnipeg.
From there, the provincial veterinarian checked the dogs for serious illness. The vet found most of them had a disease called giardia -- an intestinal disease that could dehydrate the puppies, McDonald said.
"None of them were in grave danger but they weren't groomed. (They were) dirty, filthy, smelly," McDonald said. "I've been told the ammonia smell was so strong the animal protection officers had to wear respiratory gear."
The society rearranged the animals it currently has to make room for two pregnant dogs and five puppies. D'Arcy's Animal Rescue Centre took in two mothers, eight puppies and one of the pregnant dogs. The rest of the dogs are being kept at the rescue facility.
"It would be great if we had tons of space. It's a matter of juggling the space," McDonald said. "It's been a co-ordinated partnership between the provincial vet, the humane society and D'Arcy's."
On Monday, the society, D'Arcy's and the province met to create a game plan to get the dogs into foster homes over the holidays.
As a puppy foster parent, the only responsibility is to care for the dogs, socialize and train them.
The food and vet bills are covered by the province. To become a foster parent to a dog, call the Winnipeg Humane Society at 982-2049.
The scope of Manitoba's puppy mill problem was chronicled earlier this year when reporter Selena Hinds went undercover with a photographer and answered more than 15 ads for dogs for sale, most of them online -- a venue favoured by puppy mill owners. There are about 119 licenced breeding operations across the province.