B.C. man whose emaciated dogs were seized loses appeal to have 4 returned
An Interior man who had several starving dogs seized by the BC SPCA earlier this year won’t be getting them back.
This month, the BC Farm Industry Review Board (BCFIRB) released its decision that quashed Kurtis Elliot’s appeal following a teleconference hearing on Feb. 23.
According to the SPCA, two dogs were surrendered by Elliot on Jan. 9, with six dogs and seven puppies seized the next day. Elliot appealed on Jan. 25, saying he wanted four of the adult dogs back.
However, the industry review board said no to Elliot, adding that he was also found liable for the costs claimed by the BC SPCA in taking care of the seized dogs. That amount totalled $7,608.48.
The report noted that one of the seized adult dogs, Blue, was euthanized two weeks after being surrendered by Elliot.
Not long after seizing the dogs, the SPCA issued a press release, with a spokesperson saying “the condition of these animals was just horrific — many of them were extremely emaciated. It was one of the worst cases I have seen in my 42 years with the BC SPCA.”
The 33-page decision said that Elliot was breeding the dogs for “good money” during the pandemic, but that he “admitted feeling overwhelmed by the number of dogs and puppies in his care. None of the dogs were socialized or train to walk on a lead. He was, however, crate training them.”
The decision noted that “the dogs were all very underweight and had protruding ribs and hips. The two females, in particular, were extremely thin and emaciated and had protruding spines, necks, ribs and hip bones.”
The dog pen was also said to be covered in ice and that it had a build-up of urine and feces. The dogs did not have suitable shelter, nor did they have any food or water. The water in the bucket was frozen.
According to the decision, an SPCA investigator who entered Elliot’s trailer saw a female dog in a crate.
“Through the crate, (the investigator) observed that Blue was so extremely emaciated that her bones, including spine, neck, hips, ribs and shoulder blades were clearly visible,” said the report.
“She further observed that Blue had pressure sores on her buttock area where skin and flesh were missing. Blue was very lethargic and weak and did not have any food or water.”
Elliot was advised that the investigator had never seen such a thin dog that was still alive, and that Blue needed immediate veterinarian care. Elliot said he had not taken Blue to a veterinarian because he lacked the finances.
Blue and another dog were surrendered and taken to a veterinarian. The decision said, “both dogs were constantly searching for food, and, at one point, Blue started trying to eat a mop and dirt/debris on the ground.”
The decision detailed many grim facts, including how one veterinarian said Blue was the most emaciated dog she had ever seen in her 22 years as a vet. It also noted that bone marrow fat under 20 per cent confirms emaciation. Blue’s was only 5.35 per cent.
The veterinarian added “I don’t think I would sleep at night knowing those animals, any animal, would go back to a situation like that,” and “it will be something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”
In making its ruling, the BC Farm Industry Review Board said “the reckless disregard and horrific neglect shown by the appellant in this case is extraordinary and beyond any previous experiences of this panel. It is frankly unfathomable how anyone could starve a defenceless animal.”
The Industry Review Board also said “second chances are available to those who are truly remorseful and show the necessary insight not to repeat their past failures. The appellant claims to have gained this appreciation of his mistakes but the evidence and his conduct during the hearing demonstrates that he has not.”
The report is available online.
by Global News