Warning: Some may find the content of this article or the attached video disturbing.
Officers visited the Farm of Stories after Cadence Warner, a tenant staying on the property, captured video of animals allegedly in dire condition. One was a sheep who Warner said had been lying in the same shed for at least five days.
In the video, Warner can be seen lifting the sheep's head to find its right eye swollen shut.
"I was deeply concerned about the condition of that sheep," Warner told CTV News.
Cadence Warner lifted this sheep's head and noticed its eye was swollen shut.
She also captured footage of three calves, two of which she says had recovered from pneumonia and a third that was sick.
"This calf is struggling to breathe. It's frothing at the mouth," she can be heard saying in the video.
Farm of Stories markets itself as a picturesque property where caretakers and visitors alike help animals that are said to be rescued. Warner, however, claims the farm's caretakers aren't properly funded or trained to care for livestock coming to the farm from auction.
"What I have a problem with is the conscious neglect and the unwillingness to take care of them in the way that they need," she said. "You can't just buy animals then not be willing to take care of them."
Cadence Warner, a tenant who lives on the farm, said she was concerned about the well-being of some animals.
The farm's owner, Yimin Fang, owns two other Metro Vancouver properties. He did not return requests for comment from CTV Vancouver. But a post to the farm's Facebook and Instagram pages alleges some people have "made up ridiculous stories."
According to Warner, none of the staff on the farm have experience working with large animals like cows or sheep. She alleges the farm's owner was unwilling to call a veterinarian to help the sick calf or the injured sheep.
"It's not economical to invest the amount of money that goes into a vet for them," Warner said.
Warner said she ended up calling a vet and paying out of pocket for antibiotics for the two calves that were initially sick with pneumonia. When the third calf also became ill, she says she was told the landlord wasn't interested in more antibiotics.
"So that calf ended up dying," Warner said.
Geoff Regier, an animal advocate, said he negotiated with the owners to purchase the distressed sheep on Boxing Day. He immediately brought it to the vet.
"[She was] lame, lethargic, so weak that she had difficulty lifting her own head," he said.
She was given antibiotics and put on fluids, but wasn't doing any better after two days, so she was euthanized.
"The financial incentives were against the animal's welfare," Regier said. "The vet bills would be more than the worth of the animal."
An SPCA officer talked with farm workers at a Langley hobby farm on Dec. 28, 2017.
Shawn Eccles, senior manager of cruelty investigations with the BC SPCA, said that even though the video shows an animal in distress, that doesn't necessarily mean animal cruelty charges are warranted.
"There's no doubt that the video is disturbing," he said. "The issue is how long the animal has been in that condition, whether or not it had any veterinary care."
Warner just hopes the farm will stop bringing in animals it doesn't have the resources to care for.
"I would just like to see care being prompt when it's needed," she said. "I would like to see a willingness to give the animals that are here the best lives that they can have."
None of the allegations in this report have been proven in court and a veterinarian on the property Friday sent by the owner told CTV that the animals on the farm are in good condition.
Warner said she’s seen an improvement in animal care since BC SPCA officers visited the farm on Thursday. She said a heat lamp has been installed in the barn and she’s seen fresh bedding for the animals.
Geoff Regier is also in the process of re-homing the two remaining calves.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald.
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