Dozens of small dogs are undergoing grooming, medical and dental work following an SPCA investigation of a southern Alberta dog breeder that resulted in the owner surrendering the animals.

The surrendered animals, 40 small breed dogs and a border collie, were located in poor health at an undisclosed rural property. The animals ranged in age from newborn puppies to an 11-year-old dog, and included a very pregnant dog and a dog that had recently delivered a litter.

The dogs are presently in the care of the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) and will be available for adoption once their medical and dental needs are addressed.

“The dogs were all severely matted, and smelled heavily of urine. Many of them have rotten teeth, eye infections, hernias and severe ear infections,” said Deanna Thompson, Executive Director of AARCS. ”It is heartbreaking to see any animal in this condition, especially this many from one place.”

The owner and staff of Muttley Crue Organics volunteered their time to bathe and groom 29 of the dogs, a nine hour endeavour for the crew of five.

“We hope that the public realizes that when they purchase a dog at a petstore or online with little or no information of where that puppy came from, that they are supporting backyard breeding operations such as this,” said Thompson.

AARCS estimates the cost of tending to the medical needs of the animals, including spaying and neutering, will exceed $20,000.

The breeder's identity has not been released.