One of Richmondís farms was once used to house a petting zoo, enjoyed by local children. A few years ago, a contractor working at the farm became alarmed at seeing that monkeys were being kept in cages full of feces and other animals were in deplorable conditions. He didnít want to jeopardize his work at the farm by reporting the owner to the SPCA, so he called our president, Carol, and asked her to call them on his behalf. Carol called the SPCA and asked them to investigate. She was told that the SPCA could not investigate on second-hand information.
The monkeys, kept in outdoor cages, froze to death. Other animals remained on the farm and continued to suffer. A pony named Sarah was neglected to the point where her hooves became overgrown and her front feet bent forward, stiff, hard and unmovable. Four little dogs existed in backyard cages for 8 years, never to be exercised, socialized or even housebroken. They could be heard crying plaintively by neighbours.
Last winter, the farmhouse caught fire and the farmerís housepets perished. After the fire, Richmond Animal Protection Society was called in to care for the remaining animals. The SPCA suggested to a neighbouring farmer that the pony be sent to a slaughterhouse in Abbotsford. That wasnít an acceptable solution to us. One of our volunteers contacted her farrier and horse veterinarian to see if Sarah could be helped, but there was no hope for recovery and Sarah had to be euthanized.
Around 30 cats were trapped, fixed and given much needed medical attention. The 4 little dogs were adopted by RAPS volunteers and now have loving homes. One has become a therapy pet, making regular visits to patients in care facilities. At least for some of those animals there is a happy ending.