The Department of Agriculture is investigating after seizing more dogs from the residence of an online pet store owner convicted in provincial court last week for animal cruelty.
After receiving a call from a concerned resident, department officials and a veterinarian went to Bud Wheatley’s Covehead home Saturday night and took several dogs to the P.E.I. Humane Society.
The seizure came four days after Wheatley, 62, was sentenced in provincial court to five months in jail for improperly caring for animals.
Agriculture Minister George Webster confirmed the seizure and investigation.
“It’s true the dogs were confiscated but the investigation is ongoing,”Webster said Wednesday.
Webster wouldn’t say who contacted the department or give details on the seizure.
“There are no conclusions yet and I probably shouldn’t get ahead of myself.”
Wheatley made plans for a caregiver to look after his aunt, who was living in his residence, while in jail. Both reportedly left the house and dogs behind before the department received the call.
While the department and the Humane Society wouldn’t give the number of dogs taken from Wheatley’s home, media reports said the number as 17.
Wheatley’s personal dog, 13-year-old Sacha, was among the 17. Sacha was the sole exception to a court order imposed last week restricting Wheatley from owning pets for 10 years.
Wheatley was also ordered to pay $68,000 for the Humane Society’s care of 76 dogs and cats seized from his property about a year ago on Oct. 2009.
Wheatley had been selling the animals on his website, PuppiesAcrossCanada.com, but veterinarians described conditions as disgusting and appalling.
One of the dogs died before it could be treated. Several others looked starved and two had to be put down but most were adopted from the Humane Society by the time of Wheatley’s sentencing.
Officials at the Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society declined to comment on the condition of animals seized Saturday.
No additional charges have been laid against Wheatley.