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'Great candidates for adoption': Second chance for 68 dogs seized from Winnipeg home

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A second chance could be coming for dozens of dogs seized from inhumane conditions at a Winnipeg home.

Animal Service officers and Winnipeg police went to a home in Richmond West Wednesday for a well-being check, where they discovered the dogs.

The 68 Maltese dogs of varying ages were living in inhumane conditions, officials said, with the pups covered in feces and traumatized.

They are now receiving treatment at the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS), where it is believed that all will survive.

“I think we will have 68 live outcomes,” said WHS CEO Jessica Miller.

One of the rescued dogs gets a haircut while receiving care at the Winnipeg Humane Society on May 16, 2024. (Jeff Keele/CTV News Winnipeg)

WHS says that while they appear scared and shaken at times, many are still very social and good candidates for a new owner.

The dogs arrived at the facility in batches. First, they get a physical exam; some may require medical care.

Then, they go to a holding area before they are shaved. They can’t be bathed until that happens because of the condition of their fur.

Nine groomers from PetSmart are volunteering their time to help the dogs.

"Everyone here is giving back on their own time and everyone jumped into action to save these dogs,” said Shannon Evans with PetSmart.

One of the 68 Maltese dogs seized from a Fort Richmond home is pictured at the Winnipeg Humane Society on May 16, 2024. (Jeff Keele/CTV News Winnipeg)

The dogs’ behavior is being monitored to see if they are candidates for foster or adoption.

Despite some of them who seem visibly scared, many do appear social, so some could be ready for adoption as early as next week.

"The behavior of these animals and the way they're coming towards our staff and being held shows that they will be great adoption candidates,” Miller said.

Meantime, the community has stepped up to help the Winnipeg Humane Society fund the animals’ care. In the first 24 hours since the case came to light, the organization has raised $77,000.

“It makes me emotional. Our phones are ringing off the hooks,” Miller said.

No charges pending in case: WPS

The Winnipeg Police Service says no charges are pending in the case, and WHS is not seeking recourse through the province's Animal Health and Welfare office because the legal system could put adoptions on hold for months.

“It's a more lengthy process. This is a better outcome for these 68 animals,” said Andrew Clarke with the Winnipeg Humane Society.

There is also the city's pet ownership bylaw to consider, which stipulates people are only allowed four dogs.

The city says it is investigating, but no penalties have been issued yet.

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