SPCA putting up for adoption 21 dogs seized from home

SPCA staff member Chandel Kettlewell plays with some of the 21 spoodles seized from a Christchurch house.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

SPCA staff member Chandel Kettlewell plays with some of the 21 spoodles seized from a Christchurch house.

The SPCA will not lay charges against the owner of 21 dogs who were seized from a Christchurch property last month.

The spoodles – a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle – were seized from a home in Roydvale Ave in Burnside in August after the SPCA said the environment was “unsafe”.

A person who raised the alarm about the condition of the dogs claimed they were “overtly malnourished, filthy and putrid smelling”.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus, police and animal management staff were involved in seizing the dogs from the house.

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The owner of the dogs, breeder Rebecca McPherson, is in hospital with throat cancer and has only days to live, according to her son.

MacPherson’s son said his mother was diagnosed with cancer soon after the dogs were seized. He said she had looked after the dogs, but they had become dirty because she was ill and overwhelmed.

Some of the 21 spoodles who were rescued from a Christchurch puppy mill last month playing at SPCA Canterbury.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

Some of the 21 spoodles who were rescued from a Christchurch puppy mill last month playing at SPCA Canterbury.

“There was no reason to lay any charges,’’ he said. “She hadn’t done anything wrong. She just got sick and it was a wet winter with a small section.

“She got Covid and then she got cancer. It all go a bit overwhelming for her.

“Once they cleaned the dogs up they realised there was nothing wrong with them.”

This week, the SPCA became the official owner of the dogs, which will be put up for adoption in the next few months once they are back to full health.

A month after they were seized, six of the dogs looked in fine health as they played in an enclosure at the SPCA’s Christchurch headquarters on Wednesday.

One of the spoodles after it was removed from the Christchurch home last month.

Supplied

One of the spoodles after it was removed from the Christchurch home last month.

SPCA senior canine quarantine attendant Hayden Jiggins said it was one of the largest batches of rescued animals they had ever received. He said it was a pleasure to look after the dogs.

“It is great, but it is challenging. There are a lot of them and they all have different needs,’’ he said.

“You see them come out of their shells and develop skills as they go on. Some are younger and some are older. It is about meeting all their needs individually.”

The youngest dogs are about six months old and the oldest are 8 years old, he said.

SPCA inspectorate team lead Samantha Cairns called for donations to help look after the dogs.

“The animals are doing well and will begin the re-homing process once they are back to full health. We encourage members of the public to keep an eye on our website if they are interested in adopting any of these animals,’’ she said.

The dogs will be re-homed by the SPCA once they are back to full health.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

The dogs will be re-homed by the SPCA once they are back to full health.

“In the meantime, any spare blankets, towels, toys, grooming tools and canine treats would be greatly appreciated by the centre team, as the number of animals in the centre has put significant strain on our resources.”

After the dogs were seized, MacPherson disputed allegations the animals were malnourished and unsafe.

She said she lived for her dogs, cooking them meat and sharing her bed with 10 of them. She said she would feed them 10kg of mince a week, and they had milk and water.

But she conceded the house was dirty.

“It was just a bit dirty because I’d got Covid and the flu at the same time and I could do everything but clean the floor, that’s the only thing.”

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