An emaciated lab-cross and her litter of pups were taken into the care of the Maple Ridge SPCA on Saturday after concerned campers at Lake Errock campground in Mission spotted the mother with a heavy chain around her neck.
The frail female dog, named Ruby, in addition to missing a significant amount of hair where the chain had rubbed against her skin, was also suffering from open sores and had numerous parasites.
Campers notified the SPCA after recovering the wandering dog and removing a 13-pound chain from around her neck.
Upon further investigation, the dog was tracked to a nearby residence, where it was discovered that she had given birth to a litter of seven puppies, six weeks old.
Four of the puppies, located back at the campground, had been given to campers. They were emaciated, infested with parasites and fleas and in need of immediate medical attention, said the SPCA.
Three other puppies were given to people passing by the campground.
One of the puppies has already been turned in to the Abbotsford shelter, where Ruby and her pups are now recovering.
However, the whereabouts of two others is unknown.
Marcie Moriarty, the general manager of cruelty investigations for the B.C. SPCA, is urging whoever has the puppies to bring them to the Abbotsford shelter to be reunited with their mother.
They are too young to be away from their mother, Moriarty said.
“They will be missing out on a core socialization period,” she added.
They won’t learn social skills, such as interacting with other dogs.
Ruby and her other pups are doing well.
“She is quite a spunky dog,” Moriarty said. “There is a sense of relief she can nurse her puppies again.”
The B.C. SPCA will recommend charges be laid under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Criminal Code of Canada against the owner of the dogs.