A southern Alberta man charged with killing a peace officer who was investigating a complaint about his dogs no longer owns the animals.
Roland Lines with the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Friday the organization recently became legal owners of the 41 heelers and cattle-herding type dogs.
He said notice of their seizure was sent to a lawyer representing Trevor Kloschinsky but the man made no attempt to maintain ownership of the animals.
Kloschinsky has been in custody since he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Rod Lazenby on Aug. 10.
Lazenby, a Mountie who did undercover work that included bunking in a cell with child killer Clifford Olson, retired in 2006. A short time later he started enforcing bylaws for the Municipal District of Foothills.
Details of his death haven't been made public, but police have said he died in hospital after visiting Kloschinsky's ranch near Priddis, southwest of Calgary.
Lines said 42 dogs were originally seized from the property but one died. It had a systemic infection that showed no initial symptoms.
"The veterinarian wasn't able to determine the cause of it, so we don't know if it's related to any care issues."
Other dogs had broken teeth and minor health problems, he said. One dog was also missing part of a front leg when it was found.
It was a clean cut and a recent injury, Lines said. "At this point, we don't know whether it was lost in an accident or not."
He said a Calgary veterinarian treated the wound and someone at the clinic later adopted the dog.
It's hoped the other dogs can also be put up for adoption, Lines said. Fifteen are staying at the Lethbridge Humane Society and city pound and are still undergoing behavioural assessments.
Eighteen have been released to the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society in Calgary and seven are at the Heaven Can Wait shelter in High River.
Kim Hessel, owner of Heaven Can Wait, said the dogs were thin and scared when they arrived. Two may soon be ready for adoption but the others need more training.
"It's really a sad thing to see this many dogs so fearful of people and at the same time so willing to come forward," she said. "You can tell they want to trust you. They're just not sure. Each day gets a little bit better."
She has received several calls from people concerned the dogs were going to be destroyed. She expects all will be ready for adoption in the next six weeks to three months.
But they are all herding dogs, so she doesn't recommend they go to families with young children.