Not an isolated case - Local woman gets free legal help to appeal ruling after SPCA gives up dog for adoption
DAWSON CREEK -- A local woman who lost a court battle in a bid to get her dog back almost two years after it was re-homed by the SPCA, is appealing the decision.
Dale Malkinson's dog, Zeva, a Yorkie-Chihuahua mix, went missing from her property just outside of Progress in April of 2022.
In January, a B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal ruled that the SPCA acted with good faith and in the confines of the law, when the dog was re-homed after being declared a stray.
Malkinson said she was unable to afford a lawyer, to launch an appeal in a last-ditch effort to get Zeva back.
But a Vancouver lawyer saw Malkinson’s story and reached out to her with an offer to take her case.
Malkinson first believed the dog was taken by a fox or bird but recalled hearing a car in the driveway, leading her to suspect that the dog was stolen.
In need of dental care, Malkinson believes the thieves let Zeva go because they couldn’t resell the eight year old dog.
The dog, tattooed and wearing a rabies tag, was found and taken to the South Peace SPCA and was then transferred to Abbotsford for veterinary care.
She says her pleas to get the dog back were ignored when Zeva ended up being posted for adoption in Abbotsford, under the name Delilah.
Malkinson said she begged and pleaded with the SPCA to reach out to the family that adopted Zeva and explain the situation, but they refused.
The Tribunal argued that Malkinson lost ownership of the dog when it was adopted in Abbotsford, saying the new owners were under no legal obligation to give the dog back.
In a heart-wrenching plea, Malkinson said, "I tried to get my dog back, and they wouldn't talk to me, so I phoned the Vancouver SPCA, which is headquarters, and I talked to four different people, all of which said I was treated poorly and that what happened to me was wrong."
Malkinson said her case "definetly is not" an isolated one. She said another woman reached out to her and claimed the South Peace SPCA also tried to adopt out her dog as well.
CJDC TV News contacted the woman’s lawyer for comment. He said his client signed a Non Disclosure Agreement with the SPCA and couldn’t comment on the matter.
The lawyer did say that he was able to get the dog back on behalf of his client.
Calls to the South Peace SPCA were not returned. CJDC TV News reached out Craig Daniell, the Chief Executive Officer of the BC SPCA. Daniell refused to take our call.