Police in Barrie are requesting the public’s assistance in locating two women, a mother and daughter, suspected of animal neglect after a number of dogs and a cat were found in need of immediate veterinary care in two motor vehicles at a local hotel.

On Friday, police were alerted to an “issue involving a number of dogs and a cat being kept in two motor vehicles that were parked at a hotel located on Bryne Drive.”

In a news release, Barrie police say they received a complaint from a concerned citizen about the well-being of the animals.

Police conducted an investigation and eventually sought assistance from the Ministry of the Solicitor General Animal Welfare Services.

“It was evident that a number of the animals were ill and required immediate veterinary care. Three dogs were surrendered to the OSPCA Barrie Animal Centre and one, a German Shepherd, required emergency surgery to remove a foreign body from its stomach,” the release reads.

“The female owners of the animals involved in this investigation were evasive and have manipulated the kindness of a number of local agencies and church organizations to obtain supplies and financial support for what appears to have been nothing more than part of elaborate scheme that was based upon a number of mistruths.”

Police did not specify what exactly the alleged mistruths were.

The two women, who police say are 54 and 23 years of age, have reportedly left the Barrie area without paying the surgical costs that “saved the life of the very ill German Shepherd” that remains in the care of the Barrie OSPCA.

They are now wanted for offences under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act and the Criminal Code.

They were last seen travelling in two vehicles described as a 2008 beige coloured Dodge Caravan and a 2003 gray/silver coloured Toyota Highlander with a small utility trailer.

Police say they know that the two women are from the Sarnia, Ont. area and that they also know their names, however they have chosen not to release them publicly.

“Right now, the primary concern is focused on the health and wellbeing of the other animals they are travelling with which includes a number of recently born puppies,” the release reads.

“If anyone sees these females or the vehicles that they are travelling in, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Barrie Police at 705-725-7025, ext. 2657 or your nearest police service.”