Kelowna connection to Williams Lake dog cruelty charges

Almost 50 dogs were seized from a property near Williams Lake this past February.  The dogs were taken from Terry Baker's property because of inadequate care, and many required extensive rehabilitation to be able to adjust to human contact before being re-homed.

Originally 46 dogs were rescued and dispersed to shelters around BC.  Some came to the shelters pregnant so around 30 puppies needed adoption as well.

Kelowna SPCA Shelter Manager, Sean Hogan says, of the 20 dogs that came to Kelowna, most have either been sent to another shelter or were adopted but 4 were.  “Some of the dogs that we did see were too likely to be under distress for the rest for their lives if they were adopted or put into a home.  From the opinion of the behavior modification experts, doctors on staff, as well as veterinarians, this poses a risk for not only the animal but the public.” 

Hogan went on to describe how some of the dogs reacted to human contact, “You walk into the kennel in the morning to turn the lights on and some of those dogs would put themselves in a corner, turn their head toward the corner and try to disappear.  Some of them, the closer you got, would defecate and pee all over the place because they’re so scared of what might happen and they know they’re trapped.  You know as well as I, an animal that’s trapped or feels like they’re trapped is also likely, at some point or another, be aggressive.”

Terry Baker has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code of Canada.  He could spend up to 5 years in prison and faces a maximum fine of 10 thousand dollars.  It’s not the first time Baker has faced this kind of charges.  Two years ago, while living in Saskatchewan, Baker pled guilty to animal cruelty charges after 70 dogs were found to be in distress and seized from his property.

8 dogs are still under SPCA care somewhere in BC.

Hogan says if you have concerns about animals in distress call 1-855-6BC-SPCA

“We get over 10,000 calls a year through our cruelty reporting hotline.  If we don’t get those calls, we don’t know.  (The Baker case) started with someone who genuinely was concerned about the number of animals on this person’s property and how it was very unlikely that any of them were getting what they needed.”