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Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011
Alleged: Sheena Robson
A Chilliwack woman whose Siberian husky was left tied up outside the Kamloops SPCA with purple-tinted fur won't get the pet back because she's under investigation for animal cruelty.
Violet the dog, as she is now known, is in foster care while the complicated investigation involving her is sorted out, Lorie Chortyk, B.C. SPCA general manager of community relations, said Friday.
She said Sheena Robson has been told she won't be getting the husky back.
"If this was a normal situation, we'd be returning the dog immediately," Chortyk said.
Violet was left tied on a short rope to a fence outside the SPCA shelter Nov. 22. Her back was a purplish color and she was malnourished and emaciated. She had recently had puppies, but they were not with her.
Robson told The Daily News earlier this week the dog had been stolen from her home in late August while a friend was looking after her. She said she had filed a report with Mission RCMP.
Marcie Moriarty, B.C. SPCA general manager of cruelty investigations, said in a press release Friday the society has taken eight dogs and seven cats from Robson's property in the past few months due to animal cruelty complaints.
Moriarty says Robson operates a backyard breeding operation where the dogs, ranging from chihuahuas to Cane Corsos, have been found in poor welfare conditions. "Since May we have issued a number of orders concerning the welfare of the animals in her care," says Moriarty.
"On a recent recheck we found several animals in distress, including nursing mothers covered in fleas and a Yorkshire Terrier locked in a dark closet as well as unsanitary conditions throughout the house." While the case is still ongoing, Moriarty says the BC SPCA will be recommending charges of animal cruelty against Robson and if the animals are not immediately relieved of distress, they will be removed from the property..
Where Violet is concerned, however, the case gets more complicated. A couple known to Robson who brought Violet to Kamloops is also under SPCA investigation, Chortyk said.
A dog-loving Pritchard man told The Daily News Violet was being kept in bad conditions at a property next to his, along with her nine puppies, two huskies and two smaller dogs.
Paul Clarke said a couple renting the house next to his showed up irregularly and didn't feed all the animals. The huskies were outside most of time, while the others were inside.
He took on feeding the dogs and even walked the huskies. He contacted the land owner, who spoke to the couple and gave Clarke a key so he could care for the dogs.
"I discovered the dogs inside howling and yowling. The dogs were abandoned. They've been coming back at 2 a.m. every four days and putting food out for them. But the ones inside, they weren't getting food," he said.
He found Violet and her puppies in a cupboard under some stairs inside.
"They've come three times in two weeks, late at night."
He was concerned about the dogs' welfare, but said the people who were caring for them claimed to be fostering some of them for the SPCA. The names the couple gave him are the same names that Robson gave to The Daily News earlier this week as the people who were caring for her dog during the summer.
Violet and her puppies disappeared Nov. 21, Clarke said. He didn't know what had happened to her until he saw her photo in the newspaper.
The couple did return to take the rest of the dogs. Now they're all gone, he said.
"They came Wednesday night and pulled down the SPCA notices and took the dogs. My concern now is were those two dogs (huskies) stolen and where are they? They're in reasonably good shape because I've been feeding and watering them for the past month," he said.
"Violet's in good hands and she's going to survive. But these two huskies - they were in good shape, I took them for a walk every day. They listened to me well enough that I could let them off leash and they'd stay with me. . . . My concern right now is what happened to those two huskies."
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