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Dogs seized from residence
More than 20 dogs to be sent south and put up for adoption

Sarah Ladik
Northern News Services
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bylaw enforcement officers seized 21 dogs from a residence in the community July 15, stated Jim Sawkins, the town's director of protective services.

NNSL photo/graphic

This puppy was among 21 dogs seized by bylaw enforcement officers from a residence in Inuvik last weekend. - photo courtesy of Jim Sawkins

While Sawkins would not name the occupant of the residence, representatives of the municipality did go before a judge in Yellowknife June 24 to gain the right to access the property of Horst Podzadny, after failing to do so without a court order.

"No dogs were shot during this operation and it is the intent of the protective services department to follow protocol and have all dogs taken into custody adopted in southern locales," stated Sawkins in a news release issued July 18.

The 21 dogs included a mother with two puppies and one pregnant female.

Sawkins estimated there were three more dogs left to apprehend. The catching, he noted, was done humanely with a dog pole and net.

"It appears we already have homes lined up for the mother and two puppies," he told the Drum July 18. "We work with the SPCAs in Edmonton and Yellowknife, and we have an arrangement with Canadian North to make sure these dogs can be re-homed elsewhere."

The town bylaw limits the number of dogs in a residence to three and recommends they be spayed or neutered. Sawkins said that in addition to seeking to enforce the bylaw, the seizure came after several complaints about the dogs at this residence.

This is not the first time Podzadny has run afoul of the municipality over dogs. In 1997, the Drum reported that 82 dogs were seized from his property after reports emerged that 30 had died of starvation the previous winter. At the time, Podzadny told the Drum 30 dogs had indeed died the winter before and 15 more had starved to death by December 1997. He said he sought the community's help in feeding them.

In the course of an assault trial that month, Podzadny was ordered to Edmonton for psychiatric evaluation, necessitating some action for the dogs who would be left with no food for the duration of that trip.

The senior administrative officer at the time, Don Howden, said there were plans to seize the dogs before their owner was sent south for evaluation, and that a committee of people familiar with dogs had been formed to deal with the situation.

The committee was instructed to assess the health of the animals. If the dogs appeared to be in a critical state, the town intended to have them destroyed immediately, according to Howden.

If the dogs appeared healthy, as the committee later determined, the town was to feed the dogs for five days, after which residents would be allowed to adopt the pets. Those remaining would then be put down.

- with files from Shane Magee

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