Sask. dog breeder facing accusations of neglect
A Debden area dog breeder is facing accusations that the animals under her care are living in poor conditions.
Jason Baert said he was shocked by the conditions he witnessed when he visited the breeder.
“What I saw was disgusting. There's no other word to describe it. It was awful,” said Baert, adding the smell made him gag.
He took pictures of what he calls dirty, crowded pens of dogs and posted them on Facebook in a post that has since been shared has been shared more than 3,000 times. He wants the place shut down.
“I got about five minutes away from the place and I pulled my truck over and threw up. I was disgusted."
The Saskatchewan SPCA confirms it was already investigating this dog breeder.
“It is an ongoing situation and we will definitely be back there,” said Kaley Pugh of the SPCA.
The breeder, Betty Rath, says she's been breeding dogs for 35 years and takes good care of the animals.
“We really care about our dogs. All our dogs have names. They know their names, we don't breed them every time,” Rath said.
She admits the SPCA visited her operation and says she has made the required changes.
“We do follow whatever they tell us to do. But if things were really drastic here don't you think they'd shut us down? It's because the dogs are all healthy and well taken care of."
The SPCA says investigations can be difficult because the laws around care for dogs are quite general.
All they state is that a dog needs adequate food, water, shelter and care. That leaves room for interpretation.
"Just because it's not how you would look after your horse or cat or dog doesn't mean that it's illegal. So there's some challenges there,” Pugh said.
When the SPCA looks into a complaint it can take immediate action or give the subject of the complaint from 24 hours to months to comply with changes. The Saskatchewan SPCA has not seized any animals from this breeder.
Since Baert shared his story and photos on Facebook, he says he's received messages from several people with similar concerns about dog breeders in their area. The SPCA says the only way it hears about potential cases of animal neglect or mistreatment is through public complaints.