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Puppy dumped in planter box at Port Alberni branch of BC SPCA

Three-month-old ‘Poppy’ is recovering from mange, infections with foster family
Poppy the Labrador retriever cross puppy is recovering with a foster family after being dumped in a planter box outside the BC SPCA in Port Alberni. (BC SPCA PHOTO)

A three-month old Labrador retriever cross puppy is recovering in foster care after being dumped in a planter box outside the Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA in Port Alberni.

“This is a truly heartbreaking story,” says Sam Sattar, manager of the BC SPCA Alberni-Clayoquot community animal centre. “One of our staff members came to the animal centre before opening to walk one of the dogs in our care and noticed movement in one of our planter boxes. When they went to check what it might be, they found Poppy.”

Sattar adds that when they checked the security footage they saw someone pull up in the middle of the night and abandon Poppy at the gate of the animal centre. What was so sad, he said, was watching Poppy try to run after them as they pulled away. The car stopped, and they grabbed Poppy and put her in the planter box where she stayed sitting for hours in the cold.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time a dog has been left at our animal centre after hours,” says Sattar. “We want people to know that if they are no longer able to care for their pet, for whatever reason, they can bring them to a BC SPCA animal centre during regular hours. We would be happy to take them into our care.”

Poppy was brought to a vet and it was determined that she had mange, a secondary skin infection, ear infections and was loaded with parasites. “The lymph nodes in her groin were so swollen that she was x-rayed to rule out masses and a possible hernia,” says Sattar.

She was prescribed antibiotics, ear ointment, medicated baths twice a week, along with flea and mite treatment for the mange. Poppy was also dewormed and given probiotics to be taken with her food. When she was brought to the vet for a check-up, she was prescribed a second round of antibiotics and medicated baths with a recommendation of three rounds of treatment for the mange. Poppy will be spayed when she is feeling better.

“An amazing BC SPCA foster family took Poppy in,” says Sattar. “They have been making sure she gets all the treatment and love she needs to recover.” Poppy has been gaining confidence in the foster home and loves people of all ages; however, she is very nervous and fearful around men.

“Poppy started out very quiet and sad, but like most sick puppies, now that she is feeling better, her demeanour has completely changed. She is super playful and full of energy, hopping and skipping about like a fawn,” says Sattar. “She is gentle and sweet and a total people pleaser—her foster family is in love with her.”

If you can help Poppy and other animals in need at the BC SPCA, please visit

Poppy, a three-month-old Labrador retriever cross, gets a bath to help deal with the mange, skin infection and parasites she was dealing with when she was dumped in a planter box at the BC SPCA branch in Port Alberni. (BC SPCA PHOTO)