A Princeton woman at the centre of a large-scale animal abuse investigation attempted, and failed, to have nearly 100 animals returned to her care in November.
Janet Foulds appealed to the BC Farm Industry Review Board after 97 animals including horses, dogs and cats were seized by the BC SPCA on Sept. 23.
Foulds claimed the animals removed from her farm, on Old Hedley Road, were not in distress.
However in a 55-page decision that followed a two-day hearing with 11 witnesses, the presiding review board member wrote; “After having the benefit of reviewing the veterinary reports, I feel that to describe the seized animals as ‘healthy’ is akin to comparing the COVID pandemic to a mild flu.”
The panel heard Foulds has a long history of conflict with the SPCA, including more than 40 complaints regarding animals in her care since 2006.
According to the decision, in 2015, the society seized 34 dogs, 16 horses and six cats from Foulds, as they met the definition of distress.
The board ordered that the surviving cats, dogs and horses – several puppies died of parvo virus and five horses had to be euthanized – be left in the society’s care. The decision stated the society is permitted, in its discretion, to destroy, sell, or otherwise dispose of the animals.
The surviving and recovered horses were recently put up for adoption.
While the review board also found that Foulds is liable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for the $253,667 it cost the BC SPCA to care for the animals, no order of payment was made.
The society is continuing its investigation and no charges have yet been laid.
BC SPCA officers first investigated the property after Princeton RCMP lodged a concern about the animals.
Acting on an anonymous tip, police visited the farm in August and forwarded their observations to the society.