A South Surrey resident says he’s disappointed with how City of Surrey bylaw enforcement officers treated him while he was temporarily taking care of an abandoned calf in his backyard.
Asad Syed said he purchased the calf from a dairy farm just before Christmas, and provided it appropriate shelter and food on his property, which is in a residential area in South Surrey.
His plan, he told Peace Arch News, was to transfer the animal to his hobby farm near Yale where it could “survive and thrive” with more land and other animals.
“Then, the city showed up and they were making a big fuss,” Syed told PAN on Monday.
Syed said City of Surrey employees and animal shelter personnel turned up to his house before Christmas and inspected the living conditions and made recommendations.
“Following an inspection from the SPCA, they all agreed that the baby calf is safe and healthy,” Syed wrote to PAN.
Syed said he was given a letter from the City of Surrey which told him to remove the calf by Jan. 2.
Which, at the time, wasn’t a problem, he said.
However, his plan to relocate the animal was delayed because the caretaker of the hobby farm left to celebrate Christmas, and then extended his time away by one week to deal with an illness.
Syed told PAN that he had no choice except to keep the calf in his backyard until the farm caretaker returned.
“I understand the need to move him to an appropriate area, which was my plan all along,” Syed told PAN.
“However, I could not in good conscience leave him alone on the farm with no caretaker when he is still bottle feeding.”
He said bylaw enforcement officers returned to his house after Jan. 2, and “implied that I am a criminal,” and “that serious consequences will occur.”
Syed said city bylaw was “continuously knocking on the door” and was “making threatening phone calls.”
“They didn’t give me any time. They said move right away, right away.”
“My question is this: Is the City of Surrey this out of touch with the people in our community and understanding of situations?”
Syed said he was issued a $250 ticket, and that the calf has since been moved to Yale.
“Now it’s a bit bigger, it’s six weeks old. It started eating the grass and grain also, it’s in good shape.”
Syed, who has not yet given the calf a name, said city employees should have more been understanding about the situation.
City of Surrey has yet to respond to a request for comment made Monday morning.