BROCKVILLE – The 33 dogs seized by the Ontario SPCA were taken from a farm near Addison in Elizabethtown-Kitley Township, Brockville Newswatch has learned.
The dogs were removed Thursday after a veterinarian determined the animals were in distress, according to the SPCA.
A source familiar with the case, who spoke to Brockville Newswatch on the condition of anonymity, said the 33 dogs were Pomeranians and kept in filthy conditions at a farm on the Sixth Concession Road, about 13 kilometers north of Brockville.
The “puppy mill” was being run by a woman in her 60s who lived with her mother and the operation had started in 2011 or 2012. Incessant barking at all hours of the day and night had strained relations with neighbours over the years, the source said. “If the wind changes, they bark.”
“The dogs had no social life,” the source said, adding that younger dogs were kept indoors while the older ones were put out in a drive shed or barn on the property. The smell on the property was “rancid,” the source added, and garbage had been piling up for years.
The 33 dogs seized Thursday weren’t the only batch of animals to leave the property as 25 dogs had been shuffled off the property about two months ago, the source explained.
According to the person with knowledge of the case, the puppies were being sold for a “ridiculous amount” of money.
The woman has lived in the home for roughly eight years and had cats and horses at one time. The source stated the horses had also been kept in less-than-acceptable conditions without adequate water, even though neighbours had tried to help by supplying food.
While the SPCA said an investigation was opened following complaints in April this year, the source said issue had, in fact, been going on for years with multiple complaints dating back to 2013 with the SPCA, Leeds County O.P.P. and the Elizabethtown-Kitley bylaw enforcement office.
The SPCA had declined to disclose any specific information about the case.
The investigation is being led by the Ontario SPCA Major Case Management Team.