Four rabbits and a poodle were euthanized following an animal seizure by the B.C. SPCA on Friday.
Charges of animal cruelty are being recommended after 50 rabbits and a small poodle were found in bad condition on a south Nanaimo property following a tip. The rabbits were being kept in confined quarters with inadequate food and water. The owners told SPCA the rabbits were being raised for meat and show.
“The rabbits were kept in small wire cages that were corroded from urine, so they were rusty,” said Tina Heary, B.C. SPCA senior animal protection officer. “There was an excessive buildup of uncollected manure, so cages were filthy.
“Some were without water, without food, there were some with health-related needs, lack of ventilation – there was a myriad of problems.”
The dog was in very poor condition and in dire need of veterinary treatment, according to Heary.
“The constable had assessed the dog as having severe dental disease – very rotten, broken teeth – and a spinal condition and luxating patellas … the knees were popping out of the joints,” Heary said.
The remaining rabbits are up for adoption, but Heary cautions that those adopting know what they’re getting into.
“Regardless of the species, when you have animals, you have to ensure that you have the time and the resources and the knowledge to properly care for them … the legal responsibility lies with the owner to ensure that they’re providing for the health and welfare needs of their animals,” Heary said.
All the information from the incident will be forwarded to Crown counsel in Nanaimo, which will then decide on how to proceed.
Heary said she wasn’t aware of any previous complaints against the owners.