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Old September 18th, 2009, 09:14 AM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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Question about SPCA

Recently there has been a SPCA inspector that issued an order for me to bring my dog to do some teeth washing. I took my dog to the vet for a regular check up first. The only concern I have is my dog is 11 years old and in order to wash her teeth, she has to go though anaesthesia which could be harmful to her? I explained the situation to the inspector; however, the inspector was insistant on forcing me to bring my dog for dental cleaning otherwise she would have warrant to seize my dog.

My question is does SPCA have the authority to do so? My dog is well groomed and well fed. She is old and I don't want to lose her if the anaesthesia happens to be harmful for her. I am sure there are a lot of other pets/animals out there that are neglected and need more care. Why does the inspector insist on having my dog's teeth cleaned even after I explained the situation? Are there any authorities I can consult this issue with?

Thank in advance.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 09:19 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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First step is to take the dog to the vet and get his/her opinion. If that vet feels that the dog is strong enough for the cleaning then you must do so. If he/she feels that the dog's life would be in jeopardy, then have the vet document the following on paper, contact the inspector at the SPCA and have his recommendations forwarded to them.

If you were ordered to do so, then you must comply. I personally would follow the order and ensure that the vet communicates with the SPCA if he/she feels not necessary OR that the dog's health would be in peril.

Good luck to you and your pup.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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allfurlove allfurlove is offline
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Yup, what she said. You would have to get documentation from your vet stating that the dog cannot be put under because of age or other health problems. The inspector is just doing his job, so don't feel bad. It is their responsibility to address any problems that could be seen as neglect, even something as simple as a dental cleaning. It doesn't mean you dont take great care of your dog. If your vet gives the ok I would get it done. At 11 yrs old, needing just a cleaning is pretty good, but if you let it go longer, more serious problems could develop and result in needing a longer procedure with more risks. Good luck to you and your old gal!
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Old September 18th, 2009, 11:40 AM
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Well I don't know where the OP lives, but I find it incredible to believe that the SPCA can issue a citation to someone to get their dogs teeth cleaned! I'd throw the person out of my house. With so many serious issues to deal with I'd be filing a complaint that they don't have anything better to do?? Okay that's my disbelieving rant (not disbelieving the OP). That said my vet suggested to me that there are some places that will do dental cleaning without anestetic. My girl is 12 and could use a cleaning as well, but like you I don't want to have to put her under to do it. Good luck to you on this. I honestly think I would be asking a higher authority though about the ability of the SPCA to force you to clean your dogs teeth. All that said, I know that BenMax is very informed on doggy issues and would trust her emphatically, but I'd still be telling them to take a hike. My vet also recommended we use Dentabones or greenies for her teeth (but I've heard mixed things on greenies).
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Old September 18th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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I would think it would depend on how bad the teeth are. Perhaps they are rotten and the dog is in pain. If this is the case, then I think it would be in the SPCA's jurisdiction to order a cleaning.

If it was just plaque, then I too would be telling the SPCA officer to take a hike.

Going under anesthetic can be deadly to even humans and should not be done unless absolutely necessary.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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I'm also wondering if this is just for a cleaning, or if there is something more serious going on. If your dog has painful dental issues, it would be in her best interest to have them addressed. Dental pain can be some of the worst pain around. With a complete pre-surgery exam, including blood work and a urinalysis, and proper monitoring while under anesthesia, risks can be minimized. It would be kinder to euthanize your dog than let her suffer in pain if her teeth are so bad that the SPCA had to get involved. However, if it's just a matter of cleaning her teeth, well that's simply ridiculous! I'd get an opinion from another vet and then send them the bill.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:18 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Let's take a real life example - 'Peaches' (for those of you that knew her situation).

If anyone looked at the dog's weight, fur and overall general condition you would think a neglected or abuse case. Once you open the mouth, you note that the teeth are hanging. She could not eat, her body was malnurished (due to pups as well of course) and the reason could be due to the state of the teeth. As the vet stated, the dog had no idea what life was or is WITHOUT pain. Teeth were extracted and she recovered extremely well and started to eat and enjoy life pain free.

There has to be some reason that this was brought forth. The SPCA does not open an investigation without something which is alerting them to a possible case of abuse, neglect or simply to aid someone to help their animals.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:29 PM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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Thanks for all the response.

I assure all of you my dog has no dental problems, even the vet confirmed that her teeth are healthy and strong, only has tars on them. I'd love to have them cleaned if I can find a place that can do that without putting her under anesthetics. I can even provide a picture of my dog's teeth as proof when I get home from work. I live in BC Canada by the way.

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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
Let's take a real life example - 'Peaches' (for those of you that knew her situation).

If anyone looked at the dog's weight, fur and overall general condition you would think a neglected or abuse case. Once you open the mouth, you note that the teeth are hanging. She could not eat, her body was malnurished (due to pups as well of course) and the reason could be due to the state of the teeth. As the vet stated, the dog had no idea what life was or is WITHOUT pain. Teeth were extracted and she recovered extremely well and started to eat and enjoy life pain free.

There has to be some reason that this was brought forth. The SPCA does not open an investigation without something which is alerting them to a possible case of abuse, neglect or simply to aid someone to help their animals.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post

There has to be some reason that this was brought forth. The SPCA does not open an investigation without something which is alerting them to a possible case of abuse, neglect or simply to aid someone to help their animals.
I agree with you....I can only speak for the OSPCA, they do not go around checking if an animal has clean teeth. If that were the case they would need thousands of Agents.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jt9000 View Post
Thanks for all the response.

I assure all of you my dog has no dental problems, even the vet confirmed that her teeth are healthy and strong, only has tars on them. I'd love to have them cleaned if I can find a place that can do that without putting her under anesthetics. I can even provide a picture of my dog's teeth as proof when I get home from work. I live in BC Canada by the way.
Then you have no problem, upon Vet verification the SPCA will rescind their order. Is that the only reason that they came to visit your dog, to see if it's teeth were clean?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:42 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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jt9000 - get a document and/or statement from your vet and provide it to the inspecteur. If you are being ordered to do something that is unnecessary and unfounded, then not only go to the inspecteur, make an appointment with the Executive Director.

Could you possibly have a neighbour that is not fond of you or your dog and called them about something?

If the SPCA is knocking on random doors to ask to view animal's teeth, I would be questioning why donations are being used for an inspecter's pay for complete nonsense.

Truly, and I am not calling your a liar by any means, but the SPCA must have a reason to have knocked on your door. Think hard, maybe someone is calling you out and using your animal to do so perhaps...
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Hmmmmm, wonder where the BC SPCA would get the idea your pups teeth need to be cleaned then . Did they give you any indication as to why they made the call?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:46 PM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Chris21711 View Post
Then you have no problem, upon Vet verification the SPCA will rescind their order. Is that the only reason that they came to visit your dog, to see if it's teeth were clean?
No that was not the case, they received report that my dog has been leashed my yard as a possible case of animal cruelty (we don't have a fence in our yard). Which is ironic as I have received complaint from neighbours stating that we left her running free in the yard or having too long a leash which could be a danger to by-passing pedestrians. Now we just let her stay in the house to prevent more nosy neighbors complaints.

The inspector came, and determined the way we leashed her in our yard is fine, and then begins to do a routine check. Which she find the tar tar on our dog’s teeth not acceptable. We have brought her to the vet the immediate weekend to do a physical check up and the vet confirmed her teeth are healthy, only tar tar on the teeth.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:47 PM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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Apparent tar tar / plaque on the surface of her teeth.

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Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
Hmmmmm, wonder where the BC SPCA would get the idea your pups teeth need to be cleaned then . Did they give you any indication as to why they made the call?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:49 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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No that was not the case, they received that my dog has been leashed my yard as a possible case of animal cruelty (we don't have a fence in our yard). Which is ironic as I have received complaint from neighbours stating that we left her running free in the yard or having too long a leash which could be a danger to by-passing pedestrians. Now we just let her stay in the house to prevent more nosy neighbors complaints.

The inspector came, and determined the way we leashed her in our yard is fine, and then begins to do a routine check. Which she find the tar tar on our dog’s teeth not acceptable. We have brought her to the vet the immediate weekend to do a physical check up and the vet confirmed her teeth are healthy, only tar tar on the teeth.
Ok - so now this is making more sense. If your vet says the teeth are healthy and has stated so on an official vet report then you have nothing to worry about. Send this document (which I would do by hand) and give this the inspector and I would give a copy to the executive director just to be on the safe side.

Tethering the dog outside unattended is problematic. People are disturbed by this and rightfully so.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:53 PM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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I understand people are disturbed by the fact. Perhaps it is time to look into building a fence in our yard which I am not sure if the city council would approve.

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Ok - so now this is making more sense. If your vet says the teeth are healthy and has stated so on an official vet report then you have nothing to worry about. Send this document (which I would do by hand) and give this the inspector and I would give a copy to the executive director just to be on the safe side.

Tethering the dog outside unattended is problematic. People are disturbed by this and rightfully so.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:54 PM
Chris21711 Chris21711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMax View Post

Tethering the dog outside unattended is problematic. People are disturbed by this and rightfully so.
It isn't against the law though BenMax, as long as the tether is long enough (in Ontario 3 metres) they can remain tethered their whole lives :sad:
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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It isn't against the law though BenMax, as long as the tether is long enough (in Ontario 3 metres) they can remain tethered their whole lives :sad:
:sad::sad: What a sad life for a dog, why bother having one.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Wow.

I hope that the vet can give that statement sooner rather than later and that this 'case' is closed quickly. What a waste of already limited SPCA resources!
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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:sad::sad: What a sad life for a dog, why bother having one.
I agree L4H, it is heartbreaking, but so many of them are
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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So it makes more sense now that you are being bothered due to a neighbours complaint. I would ask the vet for a written note saying that the dogs health is fine and that the teeth are not unduly neglected or in bad shape and then I would take it directly to the SPCA executive director and request that the harrassment stop. Is there no way for you to build an enclosure or fenced area you could put your dog outside without having to tie him up? Many people, including the SPCA, frown on having dogs tied out. It is not generally a good experience for the dogs, to say nothing of not being very safe either.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:02 PM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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Wow.

I hope that the vet can give that statement sooner rather than later and that this 'case' is closed quickly. What a waste of already limited SPCA resources!
Indeed! I have explained the situation and experience with the vet. She insist on having our dog's teeth cleaned by the vet! As I mentioned in my original post, don't they have more important issues to deal with such as abused/neglected pets, wild animals, strayed animals, and etc?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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I feel for you. We had rented a place with no fence once and we had a run (tether) for Brew outside and he was never left out there for long lengths of time or while we were not home and it worked out just fine he just wanted to sit in the driveway and watch the world go by. I am surprised no one ever called the SPCA on us for the simple reason that everyone thought brew was a giant pitbull and we were in a pretty snooty neighborhood at the time (we sooooo didn’t fit in there LOL).
But you said you are in BC if its Victoria I know of one place to get the teeth done (I have not been there so I don’t know anything about it) but if you are not just look in the phone book I think it was under pet dental.
Also as others have said get it in writing from your vet that it is not necessary and make sure more then one person at the SPCA gets it (and get the names and positions of those people)
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:18 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Indeed! I have explained the situation and experience with the vet. She insist on having our dog's teeth cleaned by the vet! As I mentioned in my original post, don't they have more important issues to deal with such as abused/neglected pets, wild animals, strayed animals, and etc?
jt9000 - if they are insisting on having the teeth cleaned and the vet is saying it is not necessary, then draft up a letter having them sign it stating that they will assume all financial responsibility if the dog dies during the procedure. I guarantee you they will not sign it and you have a court case if they insist on this if your vet says not necessary.

Better yet - go directly to the Executive Director and give him/her the documentation and I am certain that this will cease.

Something just does not add up. There has to be more....is there?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:40 PM
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It does seem a bit ridiculous for the inspector to issue this order, especially since your dog is not suffering from rotten teeth and it has nothing to do with the original complaint Originally I assumed your dog had been in the shelter (got loose) or they were called by someone because of bad teeth. If all he could find wrong was tartar on an 11 yr old dog, then I think your doing pretty good
If you have your vets support, there shouldnt be any problems having the order removed.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:57 PM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
jt9000 - if they are insisting on having the teeth cleaned and the vet is saying it is not necessary, then draft up a letter having them sign it stating that they will assume all financial responsibility if the dog dies during the procedure. I guarantee you they will not sign it and you have a court case if they insist on this if your vet says not necessary.

Better yet - go directly to the Executive Director and give him/her the documentation and I am certain that this will cease.

Something just does not add up. There has to be more....is there?
There is really nothing more. As aforementioned we took her to the vet for a physical check up and even the vet commented that she's in good health beside minimal signs of aging. Pictures will be provided once I get home.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:20 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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There is really nothing more. As aforementioned we took her to the vet for a physical check up and even the vet commented that she's in good health beside minimal signs of aging. Pictures will be provided once I get home.
Then don't worry. Just bring the medical file to the SPCA and I would ask to see the Executive Director.

Best to you.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:32 PM
jt9000 jt9000 is offline
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Then don't worry. Just bring the medical file to the SPCA and I would ask to see the Executive Director.

Best to you.
Thanks for all the help.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:38 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Thanks for all the help.
Our pleasure. Keep us updated as I am curious about the outcome of this particular case.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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And don't forget the pics, some members are pic on this forum.
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Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
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