A former dog breeder in the Cariboo has been prohibited from owning more than one dog after pleading guilty to failing to care for his 46 dogs and protect them from being in distress.
Terry Baker, 66, appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court Tuesday, Sept. 17, representing himself. Originally Baker was charged with two counts of animal cruelty.
Baker also pleaded guilty to breaching a 2017 probation order out of Saskatchewan imposed after he was convicted in a similar case involving more than 70 dogs. His previous order prohibited him from owning more than 10 dogs, with an exception of an additional 20 dogs, horses, or chickens under the age of six months.
Williams Lake Provincial Court Judge Peter Whyte sentenced Baker to an aggregate five-year prohibition of owning, caring for or possessing more than one canine for both counts, and ordered him to keep the peace, appear before the court if requested and notify the court if he moves, changes his name or employment.
In sentencing Baker, Judge Whyte said Baker’s situation had got out of control.
“There was no malice, no intention to cause malice,” he said. “It was a case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.”
Whyte said the sentence is fitting and appropriate to “avoid this situation again.”
On Feb. 22, 2018, SPCA officers and two vets seized 46 dogs — 11 were puppies — from Baker’s property north of Williams Lake.
They were American Eskimo, border collie, husky and Samoyed breeds and some were pregnant.
Baker was arrested and held for a day in jail.
Prior to the seizure, the SPCA learned that Baker had a probation order and had attended his property to warn him that he was not supposed to have more than 10 adult dogs.
Crown Counsel Geoffrey McDonald told the court when the SPCA seized the dogs they found them penned in multiple areas.
There was a large amount of feces, empty food and water dishes and makeshift shelters.
“There were a number of dogs inside the home with numerous feces piles and the odor of ammonia. They observed that the dogs were in distress,” McDonald said, adding Baker’s situation with the animals got out of hand.
Baker no longer lives in the Williams Lake area is presently living on a farm with his one dog, Davey.