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Convicted of mistreating dogs at Abbotsford puppy mill

Mel Gerling has been convicted of two charges related to the seizure of 14 dogs in Abbotsford in 2010.  - Black Press file photo
Mel Gerling has been convicted of two charges related to the seizure of 14 dogs in Abbotsford in 2010.
— image credit: Black Press file photo

A man accused of running a puppy mill in Abbotsford has been convicted of two charges in relation to the SPCA seizure of 14 dogs in September 2010.

Mel Gerling was found guilty Dec. 10 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to provide necessaries for an animal.

Gerling was charged in May 2011, several months after the SPCA seized shih tzus, chihuahuas, pugs and terrier crosses from a property on Sumas Way in Abbotsford.

At the time, the SPCA said the dogs were not receiving proper protection from the elements and were suffering from a range of health issues, including badly matted fur, eye infections, dental disease and badly overgrown nails.

All 14 dogs that were seized were adopted out by the agency.

At the time the dogs were taken, Gerling blamed their condition on the man whom he said he was paying to care for them while two new kennel buildings were being constructed in Maple Ridge.

Gerling's trial on the matter began in April of this year. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 8.

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