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The BC SPCA says the recent surrender of 21 healthy golden retrievers, including 17 puppies, is the latest in a concerning post-pandemic trend.
Eileen Drevner says the organization is dealing with a “record number of large-scale intakes” of dogs from people who set up breeding operations during the pandemic and are now closing up shop.
“People were very keen to get pets during the isolation of COVID and we saw an increase in the number of people breeding animals during that time,” explained the senior officer.
“Now that people are back to work and to their regular routines, the market has dropped off and we are getting calls for help from breeders who are overwhelmed with the number of animals in their care.”
Drevner added that the BC SPCA is also seeing an increase in complaints to its helpline about the neglect of animals by overwhelmed breeders.
The 21 golden retrievers were surrendered recently by a breeder near Quesnel.
“The individual did the right thing for the dogs by reaching out to us so that we could find new, loving homes for them,” she said.
People are urged to contact the BC SPCA if they need help, although Drevner admits that the surge in large-scale intakes is putting a strain on resources.
“Our goal is to find space for these animals as quickly as possible so that we can bring them into our care and get them on the path to their new life,” Drevner noted.
The 17 golden retriever puppies involved in this latest surrender have been moved to various BC SPCA locations and are awaiting medical clearance before being placed up for adoption.