|The BC SPCA is appealing to the public for information about the guardian of an emaciated stray dog found wandering in Burnaby. "This poor dog has obviously been lost or at large for some time," said Eileen Drever of the BC SPCA. "We don't know if her guardian has been searching for her, or what her circumstances might be." Princess, as she has been named by the SPCA, is a Malinois-cross, a shepherd-like breed often used by police departments. She remains in very serious condition at the BC SPCA Animal Hospital in Vancouver, where she is hooked up to intravenous fluids for dehydration and is being fed small amounts of food every few hours because of her emaciated state. "She is extremely weak and her paws are covered in sores – it's just heartbreaking to see a dog in this condition," said Drever.
The dog appears to be approximately three years old, said SPCA hospital officials. While a typical adult Malanois weighs 23 to 27 kilograms, Princess weighs only 15 kilograms.
"We don't know how long she was at large, but the SPCA in Burnaby has been receiving reports about her and has been trying to catch her for at least a month," said Drever. "Each time we got a sighting she ran off – she definitely didn't want to be caught." An SPCA officer, with the assistance of a member of the public, managed to catch Princess on Feb. 7 and she was rushed to an emergency clinic for treatment.
"We are doing everything we can to keep her alive and we are very anxious to locate a guardian who may be missing her," said Drever. "She has an old breeder's tattoo but it is untraceable." Anyone with information is asked to call Eileen Drever at 604-709-4670.
Read the full press release.
Mar. 1 Update: Princess is recovering and doing well in the care of the BC SPCA and an experienced foster guardian. Read our full news update.
Mar. 17 Update: Princess' foster mom Laurel, sent in an update on her progress.
She has a great appetite and almost inhales her food without chewing – she eats 4 meals/day of Royal Canin kibble, with simmered chicken thigh meat and nutritional supplements twice a day. She absolutely loves her toys and diverts a lot of her high energy excitement onto them – for example when I come home or when we are getting ready to go for a walk she will spin a couple of times and then dive for a toy before being able to settle to say "hi" or "I'm ready". Her favourite toys are squeaky rubber ones and any "stuffy" that she can "de-stuff" – we've gone through a few of these already. She still has her black knitted cat given to her at the hospital but I am careful to let her play with it only when I am there and she's playing more gently with it. She is good with greeting other dogs and leaves our two cats alone which is very nice.
She's full of energy now, wagging her tail and smiling in greeting women and clacking her teeth in the typical "maligator" clack. She only does this with women as she is much more shy and uncertain with men even when she has spent considerable time with them in the house. She is very slow to warm up to them and may give a low growl each time they appear from another room unless the greeting is mediated by a woman. She will then however play or be petted or take a treat. It's as if she has to re-recognize a man sometimes before switching to indicate "Oh, I know you and you are ok". She really enjoys playing with toys and chewing on bones in the back yard and shows no signs of wanting to escape though I never leave her unattended. She and my other malinois, Raven, do parallel play but do not quite play actively together yet. Both dogs are easy going around toys and whoever gets one first can keep it without challenge.
She goes visiting and dog walking with my friends and their dogs and comes to the agility barn and the tracking fields with us and seems to enjoy all the activity. We still have to restrict her walking time due to one paw pad which is still healing but are looking forward to being able to give her more activity. She loves to ride in the car and is very well behaved there and in the house.
Each year the BC SPCA's Cruelty Investigations department investigates close to 4,800 cases of animal cruelty and neglect. Help animals like Princess, and our life-saving cruelty investigations team with a gift to the Heroes Fund for Animal Protection.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.