Princeton woman loses appeal after 67 dogs, 27 horses seized from property | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Princeton woman loses appeal after 67 dogs, 27 horses seized from property

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December 19, 2020 - 3:31 PM

A Princeton woman with a history of animal neglect has lost an appeal to have almost 100 dogs and horses returned to her after the animals were seized by the B.C. SPCA.

Janet Foulds had appealed to have 67 dogs, 27 horses, and three cats returned to her after the B.C. SPCA seized them from her Princeton property in September because the animals were found to be living in appalling conditions.

However, the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board dismissed the appeal which also leaves Foulds on the hook for more than $250,000 in costs owed to the SPCA to cover vets bills and boarding fees since the seizure.

According to the Dec. 9 review board decision, Foulds has a history of animal neglect and in 2015 the SPCA seized 34 dogs, six cats and 16 horses found to be in distress from her property in Surrey.

The decision says the SPCA has received 40 complaints about Foulds since 2016.

According to the decision, an SPCA vet found 28 puppies in an outdoor pen with no food and water visible.

"Many were in thin to emaciated body conditions with potbellies suggestive of malnutrition or internal parasites," reads the decision.

Dogs found indoors in crates had insufficient space and no food or water.

"Some of the crates had wood pellets thrown in, presumably to absorb urine and feces. Other crates were bare, and the dogs were living in their own excrement," the decision says. "Crated dogs were found in the upstairs bathroom. They were covered in their own urine and fecal matter."

Ultimately, 75 per cent of the dogs seized were found to be underweight.

Horses found on the property had no food, water or shelter. One horse had "severely" deformed front hooves, another was observed eating feces. Another horse had a fracture that could not heal and was determined to be in severe distress and had been for several months.

"There was no prognosis other than euthanasia," reads the decision. 

The vet noted it was an unusual seizure because the horses had very low body condition scores for September and most B.C. SPCA seizures happened after the winter in February or March.

The seizure of the animals came after Princeton RCMP received a complaint about large numbers of animals at the property in distress.

On several occasions leading up to the seizure, Foulds refused to allow SPCA staff onto her property to inspect her animals.

According to the lengthy 53-page decision, Foulds called six witnesses during the two-day hearing, although it didn't help her case.

"I found much of the testimony from (Foulds's) witnesses vague and superficial in nature, especially in light of the fact that my conclusion is that all the animals were in distress at the time of seizure," Farm Industry Review Board presiding member Tamara Leigh said in the decision. "And not at all helpful in deciding on the substantive issues of the future well-being of the animals in question."

Foulds asked for another chance, saying she had learnt her lesson.

"Faced with (Foulds's) insistence that her care was already adequate, I can only conclude that there is complete failure to understand about the true state of the animals in her care," the decision says.

The Farm Industry Review Board said this "lack of insight" as well as the fact Foulds had had animals seized in 2015 in similar circumstances added weight to its decision not to give her the animals back.

The Farm Industry Review Board also awarded costs against Foulds to cover the B.C. SPCA expenses totalling $253,667.

It does not appear that any criminal charges have been laid in this case.

While criminal charges were recommended following the 2015 seizure, the decision says the Crown ran out of time. It goes on to say that animal cruelty charges were recommended at that time “for the very reason that we hoped to avoid being in the exact situation that we find ourselves today.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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Tags: Ben Bulmer

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