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'Inhumane conditions': 68 dogs pulled from Winnipeg home

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Nearly six dozen dogs were seized from a home Wednesday morning by the Winnipeg Humane Society. It is the largest known seizure of animals in the city’s history.

Animal Service officers and members of the Winnipeg police went to a home in the Richmond West neighbourhood for a well-being check at 1 a.m., where they discovered the dogs.

Leland Gordon, general manager of the city’s Animal Services, said the dogs were living in “inhumane conditions.”

“There was a horrific stench of urine and feces, lots of puppies in there,” Gordon said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. “It’s unacceptable to keep animals in conditions like this,”

Gordon said that officers donned protective gear and rescued 68 dogs from the home, mainly smaller breeds. He said the dogs had severely matted fur, eye issues, and other health concerns.

“This is the largest event like this in known history with Animal Services,” he said, noting there are now more than 100 dogs in the care of Winnipeg Animal Services.

A photo shows some of the 68 dogs seized from a Winnipeg home receiving care at the Winnipeg Humane Society on May 15, 2024. (Winnipeg Humane Society)

The Humane Society is currently helping assist Animal Services with medical care and boarding for the animals while police investigate.

“We will be processing the animals and working with the animals that need the most help first,” said Jessica Miller, CEO of the Winnipeg Humane Society.

Miller said the case could cost $150,000 in vet bills for the Humane Society, and she asked for financial support from the public. As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, it's raised more than $35,000 of its $75,000 goal.

Winnipeg Animal Services is appealing to professional dog groomers with mobile equipment, asking them to volunteer to help groom the dogs Thursday and Friday.

Under the current Responsible Pet Ownership By-law, residents are not allowed to own more than four dogs in a home.

Gordon said the seizure is a reminder that people need to spay and neuter their pets, and noted there are low-cost programs available with Animal Services and the Humane Society.

A resident who lives nearby told CTV News Winnipeg they had no idea how many dogs lived in the home but they would hear barking in the morning and always try to tune it out. 

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