By John Towns
Over half of the dogs seized from a filthy Gull Lake-area house that was the site of one of the worst animal hoarding cases in the province in recent memory have been put down.
Early last week, provincial officials from the Office of the Chief Veterinarian made the decision to euthanize 34 of the 64 dogs removed from the property of Peter Chernecki in mid-July after being discovered by a Natural Resources officer visiting the property to warn Chernecki about feeding bears.
According to a spokeswoman from the Office of the Chief Veterinarian, the decision to put down the dogs, which were being kept at the Winnipeg Humane Society kennels and at the St. Clements Animal Control office, was based on assessments of both their physical and mental health. Once the animals were seized from Chernecki, he had a week to file an appeal with the Minister of Agriculture before the province became the legal custodian of the dogs. After the seven days, Chernecki had not issued an appeal, so the province began the process of putting down the dogs that were in such bad condition that they could not be saved.
The office is also currently conducting an investigation into the treatment of the dogs, which will determine if Chernecki or his wife will be charged with any offenses, she said..." More
17 more dogs seized from rural residence
The couple at the centre of one of the most disturbing animal neglect cases the Winnipeg Humane Society has seen in recent history say they're Good Samaritans who saved the animals from uncaring people who dumped the dogs with them.
Saturday afternoon, Judy and Peter Chernecki stood outside a feces-encrusted Gull Lake garage where they kept some of their 44 dogs.
On Friday, officials seized the dogs from their crowded property, located about 90 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
The couple said they saved animals that had nowhere else to live, and their canine population grew rapidly over the last five years.
"What they're doing is dropping off animals here . . . We can't say no," said Judy Chernecki, a homemaker.
She said the accusations they mistreated the dogs weren't true.
"If people would learn how to take care of their animals, we wouldn't have this problem," said her husband Peter.
At the Winnipeg Humane Society, executive director Bill McDonald said he was appalled by the condition of the dogs, who he said were deprived of human contact and kept inhumanely..." More