Vernon man who let his dogs 'hunt for food' loses appeal to get them back | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon man who let his dogs 'hunt for food' loses appeal to get them back

Greg Neuhaus is seen in this photo from Facebook.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Greg Neuhaus
March 07, 2020 - 12:00 PM

A Vernon man who deprived over 30 huskies of adequate food and water, leaving them to "hunt for food in the wild" has lost an appeal to get his dogs back.

B.C. SPCA staff who arrived at the rural property found, food and water containers either empty, upside down or containing ice, the snow "brown with feces" and multiple dogs tied up with no shelter, many various stages of sickness.

A B.C. Farm Industry Review Board decision, Feb. 28, paints a bleak picture of the living conditions of the dozens of huskies living on Greg Neuhaus' 150-acre property outside Vernon. The decision says Neuhaus showed a pattern of neglect and was incapable of properly caring for the animals.

According to the decision, the B.C. SPCA received a call Dec. 23, 2019, about huskies and puppies in distress at Neuhaus' property.

A SPCA Special Provincial Constable along with Vernon Animal Control officers visited the property that day and discovered two dogs tied to posts, tangled and unable to access shelter to water. Eight dogs and a puppy loose on the property with no food or water, and snow around the property "brown with feces."

RCMP officers accompanied the SPCA constable on a second visit to the property later that day, and found Neuhaus "completely naked" and "very aggressive." The documents also say Neuhaus was "covered in feces" and the property was filled with dozens of empty alcohol bottles and cans, feces, broken glass, garbage and several empty bags of dog food, as well as rotting food on a table and the floor.

Neuhaus told the RCMP he had "no idea" how many dogs he had.

"They die, other dogs kill them, I have no idea," reads the decision.

Neuhaus surrendered 17 puppies and two adult dogs to the RCMP that day. Several other visits to the property continued over the Christmas period and several more dogs were surrendered. Neuhaus was issued a distress notice, ordering him to provide the necessities of life to the dogs.

Neuhaus ignored the notice and the SPCA subsequently seized dogs from the property Dec. 31, 2019 and Jan. 17.

Dogs found at the property had parasites, including roundworm, giardia and coccidian. Some dogs were thin with their ribs, hips, and spine all being visible. A puppy, estimated to be seven weeks old, was found dead under the deck. Neuhaus said its mother had killed it.

A neighbour told the SPCA Neuhaus hardly fed the dogs and let them "hunt in the wild."

Following the first SPCA's visit, a friend had visited the property to help out but found the "strong smell of ammonia" and feces in the property unbearable. For reasons not explained "a physical altercation" broke out and Neuhaus ended up in hospital. The RCMP visited Neuhaus in hospital, and his adult son told them his father was not capable of looking after himself or the dogs.

Neuhaus applied to get the dogs back but lost at a hearing Jan. 14. Neuhaus appealed the decision but lost, Feb. 27, with B.C. Farm Industry Review Board awarded legal custody to four of the huskies as well as a litter of six puppies who were born in custody to the B.C. SPCA.

According to the decision Neuhaus was drinking during the hearing and was "belligerent and disruptive" and became angry and yelled abuse at the SPCA.

The 17 puppies and several other dogs Neuhaus willingly gave up were not part of the appeal and remain in the care of the BC SPCA. The decision says the SPCA had received 25 complaints about the property over the last 10 years.

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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