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About the Topaz Creek Dogs  

What would you do if you suddenly had 60 abused and neglected dogs surrendered to you and you had no place to house them?  

PAWS is most proud of rising to the challenge of the Topaz Creek dogs. In 2002, a local hoarder was forced to surrender 60 Northern and mixed breed dogs to PAWS. These dogs were kept in horrific conditions and were badly neglected. Two of the dogs had new litters with 10 pups each. To make matters more challenging, PAWS had no facility at this time.  

The BCSPCA and local and provincial governments had already been aware of this situation for a few years. Try as they might, PAWS was not able to gain their support to respond. PAWS is eternally grateful to Lands and Water BC for finally investigating and acting.  

These dogs were meant to be used as sled dogs. However, they ended up being chained to trees, tortured, abused, and neglected. This horror also included pregnant dogs and litters. Many had open wounds on their heads and around their necks from being chained to trees 24/7, others had badly infected and deep wounds, choke collars embedded in their necks, maggot infested sores, painful birth defects that caused constant, excruciating pain. To add to these horrific physical wounds was the severe emotional trauma these dogs suffered. With the trust and unconditional love only a dog can offer, the dogs still had sweet, gentle natures despite the severe emotional neglect. Sadly, 4 dogs were beyond medical help.  

Diana Miller, the current President of PAWS, set up 15 kennels at her place, Vicki McDonald, past‑President of PAWS set up 35 kennels. A PAWS volunteer took 2 dogs home (which she later adopted), and the BCSPCA took 4 dogs.  

The dogs were fed, watered, and socialized twice a day. Within a week, 31 of the dogs were already responding to the love and care shown to them and started to show their sweet natures. Eventually the remaining dogs would follow.  

Because of the lack of support and resources, PAWS appealed to the public, and the publicís response knew no limits. Many private rescue groups also came to PAWSí rescue.  

Within 1Ĺ years, all 56 dogs including the 22 newly born puppies were socialized, trained, and adopted into loving families in BC, Alberta, and even into the United States.

Through the local community and media, the Topaz Creek dogs were able to tell their story. Loving, caring homes were quickly found. PAWS went on to explore legal avenues to make sure this kind of situation didnít happen again.  

While the 2002 BCSPCA Board was quick to claim the spotlight regarding the Topaz Creek rescue, despite ignoring the situation for many years, the 2002 BCSPCA Board didnít follow through with their promise to protect animals from future situation like this. Tragically, the local hoarder again began collecting and neglecting more dogs, with the full knowledge and inaction of the 2002 BCSPCA Board.  

Despite their terrible ordeal, all the Topaz Creek dogs lived out the rest of their lives knowing what it felt like to be a loved and cherished family member.

Bear: Before and After
Scotty:  Before and After

*The report below contains disturbing content.

2002 Report on finding at Topaz Creek from Vicki McDonald to BCSPCA Special Constable KW (Retrieved Jan. 2021)