Dog Importation Crisis in Canada
The numbers of rescued dogs coming into Canada while our dogs are being euthanized is overwhelming. There are many Foster Dog organizations and volunteers across Canada fostering thousands of dogs from US, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Egypt, Israel and many vacation hot-spots like the Caribbean.
There are weekly and monthly car/van/truck transports of rescued pets from the US and Mexico crossing our border, and there are escorted flights (by individual passengers) from tourist destinations and International Rescue Organisations arriving at our Airports daily. The risk of spreading infectious disease has our vets concerned because many viruses, bacteria, worms and other parasites can travel between species and can affect both Canadians and their pets. However these importations are increasing rapidly while here at home, about 5000 Canadian dogs and cats are put down every day.
The numbers of dogs entering Canada far exceeds the numbers of dogs leaving Canada. It seems trendy to support our local farmers and shop for home-grown, organic produce, but not to adopt our home-grown dogs and cats, and one frequently meets at the dog-park many fortunate rescues from a foreign or exotic country.
Canadian rescued dogs and cats are handled by volunteer organisations (Rescues & Shelters) across Canada and it’s estimated that these smaller rescues are responsible for more animals than our larger Humane Societies and SPCA’s. These are non-profit, non-salaried organisations existing solely on donations. All our shelters/rescues have a huge task and our numbers keep growing.
Neuter/spay or contraception, across Canada, would be the answer but again Canadian neuter/spay groups are volunteer groups of weekend warriors who survive by donations. Ideally, if every province established a neuter/spay policy and assisted these rescues with their costs that would be a partial answer, but until that becomes a reality, it falls on the shoulders of volunteers.
Canadian Rescues often work together and ship dogs province to province – from an area with too many to an area with fewer dogs and a higher probability of adoption. However, transportation costs are an issue especially if large numbers need to be moved. Before transportation, dogs from isolated regions require vetting, treating and quarantine after vaccination, which requires manpower (foster power), time and money. Canada continues to have an estimated 500,000 homeless dogs in our Northern Provinces.
So who is responsible? Judging by the number of petitions, there are a lack of regulations, requirements and guidelines for the welfare of pets in Canada. Our dogs and cats seem to be governed by volunteers with good intentions. We’d like to see everyone involved with animal welfare, like the Vets (CVMA and Provincial VMA’s), CFIA, Humane Societies and Rescues, working together – but there is disconnection and confusion with complaints from both sides.
Full Article: Statistics on Canada's Pet Overpopulation Problem