The new year will start off much better than 2019 did for 13 puppies who were living without adequate food and shelter months ago.
Those 13 Saint Bernard/Great Pyrenees puppies have all found new homes after their previous owner – an aspiring breeder in northern B.C. – surrendered them to the SPCA. The older puppies had been living in a small, dirt pen while the younger ones had been confined to a horse trailer.
"All the puppies inside the horse trailer had been living in feces that were five inches thick and had mild urine scalding on their paws," said SPCA North Peace branch manager Candace Buchamer in a news release.
"Most of the pups had minor bite wounds on their faces and were frightened of the larger dogs barking at them."
The puppies had never even worn a collar and had little human interaction or leash training, the SPCA said.
The staff still managed to bring them into SPCA care using lots of treats and praise. Each of the puppies were then bathed several times and medication was given to those that needed it.
"They were very playful, energetic and only slightly submissive during handling," said Buchamer.
The SPCA said the puppies didn't show signs of stress during their rehabilitation and weren't aggressive, but just a little afraid of meeting new people. Eventually, the puppies even learned to walk on a leash.
Of the 13 puppies, nine were female and four were male. They came from three different litters, ranging in age from four to six months old.
One of the first puppies to be adopted was Blix, from the North Cariboo branch.
"She is nervous of loud noises like doors slamming and a bit uncertain around traffic but does well on walks and enjoys meeting new people," a statement from the SPCA said.
Four of the puppies went down to Vancouver for adoption: Gabrielle, Heidi, Leslie and Kinsley. Gabrielle was the most outgoing of the youngest puppies, the SPCA said, while the other three were more nervous around toys and in new places.
"Kinsley was only afraid of toys that would make noise and needed to be introduced to new people and situations slowly," the SPCA said. "Shy Leslie likes to dig and chew on rocks."
The other dogs went to various branches including Abbotsford, Burnaby and Quesnel, while four of the puppies stayed in the North Peace region. Some were quite submissive and took a while to gain confidence.
"All 13 puppies found guardians who appreciate their unique personalities and are willing to work with them on their flaws," the SPCA said. "Each pup will enjoy many wonderful years ahead with their new families in loving homes."