Animal cruelty charges have been laid against three people allegedly responsible for keeping 66 dogs in deplorable conditions in a Langley puppy mill.
Glen Lawlor, Maria Wall Lawlor, and James Dale Shively (who has legally changed his name to James Phoenix) have each been charged with two counts under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the SPCA announced Wednesday.
The specific charges are failing their positive duty of care owed towards animals, and causing or permitting animals to be in distress.
On Feb. 4, 2016, SPCA constables seized 66 sick and neglected dogs from a rural Langley property. There were 32 adult dogs and 34 puppies found, including Old English sheep dogs, miniature and standard poodles, Bernese mountain dogs, wheaten terriers, and Portuguese water dogs.
All were in SPCA care for weeks to months for medical issues including broken limbs, missing ears and eyes, infections, abcesses, malnourishment, dental disease, and severe matting. Many also displayed a lack of socialization.
All the dogs recovered and have been adopted.
“We are very pleased with the charges and we hope this sends a message that this type of neglect and cruelty is not acceptable to British Columbians,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA.
A member of the public tipped off the SPCA to the situation, she said.
“A key step in shutting down puppy mills is for those who are purchasing animals to be educated and aware of the signs of unscrupulous operations,” she said.
In February this year, the owners of some of the ‘Langley 66’ gathered for a reunion and several hours of play for their dogs at the Cloverdale Agriplex.