A Wolfville man is facing several charges under the Animal Protection Act after 22 dogs were seized from a Kings County property.
Brian Merrill Levy, 72, will be arraigned on March 12 in Kentville Provincial Court.
In October, the Nova Scotia SPCA received a tip that several dogs weren't being properly cared for, which led the caller to believe the owner may be running a puppy mill.
The organization's chief provincial inspector says investigators found some minor violations at that time.
"Normally when SPCA officers go to a call, we always try to work with the owner to try and gain compliance, offer them education, let them know what the laws are, and see how we can work with the owner to move forward," explained Jo-Anne Landsburg.
Another complaint was received in December, and when officers went to inspect the property, Landsburg said they found several violations and had to seize a dog for medical issues. The owner was ordered to bring conditions up to standard.
Officials returned to the property on Jan. 10 to check up on the situation.
"Another dog had to be seized for medical issues and the owner of the property denied us entry," said Landsburg. "It was at that particular time -- in seeing the violations that had been compounding and the weather conditions -- we obtained a search warrant and we entered the property."
The warrant was executed on Jan. 15 and SPCA officers seized 20 more dogs from the home. According to Landsburg, several of the dogs needed medical attention.
"The majority of the concerns we had was the issues of tethering the dogs outside. These dogs were chained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with very little time off of their tethers," she explained. "In Nova Scotia, we have very strict laws. You can tether your dog for up to 12 hours in a 24 hour period, however if you do, the dog must then be let off of the tether for another 12 consecutive hours."
The owner appealed, but the SPCA was awarded custody of all the dogs.
Veterinarians have checked over the pups and they are all healthy enough to be adopted out.
"Our staff are working tirelessly to make sure that all dogs receive the proper care and training they need, and of course all animals receive all the veterinary care they need."
Acts of animal cruelty can be reported to the Nova Scotia SPCA by calling their confidential toll-free hotline at 1-888-703-7722.