Excerpted from The Vancouver SunFifty-two dogs and 16 cats seized from a Burnaby home earlier this month are being returned to a woman who rescues special needs animals. Sandra Simans, who runs an organization called “1atatime Rescue”, contacted The Vancouver Sun on Friday and appealed to the public for help finding a new home for her animals after she was evicted from her rental house on Maitland Street. The dogs and cats, many of them sick and injured, were seized for being in contravention of a bylaw that prohibits that many animals.
The SPCA has launched an animal cruelty investigation. No charges have been laid. In a news release, Bob Busch, general manager of operations for the BC SPCA, says Simans has found a property in Surrey for the animals. Busch says the BC SPCA will be closely monitoring the welfare and safety of any animals that are returned.
“This is a very sad case where a rescue hoarder took in far more animals than she was capable of properly caring for and was not meeting the financial responsibilities of housing or caring for the animals,” said Busch. “Many of the animals we took into care from Ms. Simans were extremely sick, injured and emaciated and were not getting the urgent veterinary care they needed.”
He said the BC SPCA told Simans that she could claim the animals at any time once she had a location where the animals could be properly cared for.
“Since the animals are rescue animals, not pets, we assume Ms. Simans will be happy with this outcome for the animals,” says Busch.
The BC SPCA has spent more than $10,000.00 in emergency veterinary costs on these animals so far and there will be significant ongoing medical costs for many of the animals before they are ready for adoption, he said.
Of the 68 animals, one had to be euthanized due to extreme distress and suffering, he said. Busch says the dogs were kept in plastic crates and were “clearly not getting the care they required.”
He said rescue groups have a standard called ‘Capacity to Care’ which sets out levels of health and welfare that must be provided for rescued animals and guides organizations in the number of animals they can responsibly care for given their resources.
Since Friday, The Vancouver Sun has received many emails from people who claim to have worked for Simans and allege she was hoarding animals and kept them in cages. So far none would go on record, however one neighbour said she was outraged that Simans may get to keep the animals. The neighbour said Simans had lived in the rental property across from her house for four years, and in that time she saw her walk a dog about three times.
“She never left the house. They lived like vampires and when they would come out of the house the dogs would be in cages,” she said.
The neighbour alleges that on several occasions she heard Simans swearing and screaming at the dogs and at a police officer who was at the front door. She also claimed the dogs howled at all hours of the night and kept her family and her neighbours awake.
“I don’t think there is any validity to anything she says,” she said. “Maybe her intentions come from a good place but I think there is something unstable about hoarding so many animals in a house.”
Simans insists she was doing everything she can for the animals she rescued from disaster areas all over the world. She claimed that she spent all her money trying to save them and treat their illnesses.
TELL THE SPCA WHAT YOU THINK at: http://www.spca.bc.ca/about/contact-us.html