The BCSPCA has confirmed that 35 adult dogs seized from Terry Baker north of Williams Lake in 2018 were eventually euthanized because they did not respond to behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans and their surroundings. Photo submitted

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

A total of 35 adult dogs seized from a Williams Lake area man in 2018 were eventually euthanized, the BCSPCA has confirmed.

In February 2018, the BCSPCA announced they had seized 46 dogs from a property north of Williams Lake due to concerns of neglect, undersocialization and distress.

Terry Baker, who owned the dogs, was later charged with two counts of animal cruelty in July 2018.

In a press release about the charges issued by the BCSPCS in July 2018, Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BCSPCA said veterinary and behavioural staff worked with the dogs hourly to help them adjust to everyday sights and sounds.

“This was a very intensive undertaking involving hundreds of staff and volunteer hours,” she said. “Of the 46 dogs, only eight remain in BC SPCA care. The fact that the majority of the dogs have responded to the behaviour modification to the point that we were able to adopt them into new homes is quite incredible, given the condition they were in when they were seized.”

When the Tribune followed up on the state of the seized dogs in December 2018, BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk replied in an e-mail “they were transferred to several different SPCA shelters for rehabilitation and have all been adopted into new homes.”

During the sentencing of Baker in Williams Lake Provincial Court Tuesday, Sept. 17, Baker, who was representing himself, and Crown Counsel both said they learned that 35 of the adult dogs had been euthanized.

Baker was upset and said he could not believe they had been “killed.”

Read more: B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

This information prompted the Tribune to contact Chortyk for clarification.

“I double-checked with the head of our cruelty investigations department for the province,” Chortyk said in an e-mail. “She confirmed that the dogs were undergoing behaviour modification after the seizure in the hopes that they could be rehabilitated and would be able to be adopted into homes. We had to take 87 dogs in distress in total from Mr. Baker (including that one seizure of 46 animals) and out of those we were able to rehabilitate and adopt out 52 dogs. Unfortunately, despite extensive rehabilitation efforts under the guidance of our veterinary behaviourist, the other 35 adult dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans and their surroundings. Under those circumstances we had to make the most humane decision for them to relieve their psychological suffering.”

When asked if Chortyk could say when the dogs were euthanized, she responded that she could not because she did not have access the confidential cruelty investigation files, but that it was well after the seizure and they were not all at once.

“Euthanasia is always a last option for us so if an animal was showing any promise of improvement we would have kept working with them … all animals who could have been rehabilitated were, and were adopted out.”

Baker pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of failure to protect the animals from distress and the failing to obey a previous prohibition of owning more than 10 dogs at once that had been imposed on him in December 2017.

He received a five-year prohibition for the first count and a three-year prohibition on the second count, for an aggregated prohibition from owning, caring for or possessing more than one dog.

Read more: B.C. man loses appeal to get 10 dogs back after more than 46 animals seized



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Conservation society hosting Free Your Things Weekend event June 20-21

Residents are encouraged to place reusable items with a free sign clearly visible

Williams Lake RCMP request public help in finding clues to stolen Dodge truck

Incident not linked to Tuesday’s hunt for a suspect who collided with a police car

UPDATE: Williams Lake RCMP suspend search overnight for suspect on the run

Public asked to keep eye out for suspicous activity

Rotary Stampede Community Spirit Drive-Thru Breakfast planned for Williams Lake, July 4

Stampede director Tim Rolph shared details during Tuesday’s city council meeting

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read