Thursday, October 22, 2015


Load 'em up, move 'em out, is the cry of the latest breed of scams - transporting. 

Canada has become a dumping ground, and the Canadians can't figure out why. They know they have their own share of a pet overpopulation problem, so why is the rich country of the US dumping their unwanted pets there.

“At first glance, B.C. residents may think this is a grand gesture by the BC SPCA to help more animals in need – wherever they may be – but if you read between the lines of this report, you’ll see that this is more about public appeal and financial support than provincial animal care,” stated Kathy Powelson, Executive Director of Paws for Hope. “We are concerned this confirms that the BC SPCA is unable to penetrate the hundreds of B.C. communities with severe animal welfare and dog overpopulation issues, including many that pay bounties to those that deliver the tails of stray dogs they kill. This is not a time to overlook what’s needed within B.C., the very province they’re supposedly here to serve.”

Public appeal and financial support. It also serves to stroke the egos. With the advent of the No Kill movement, what would have been classified as abusers and hoarders, have become 'rescuers' instead. Every week, horrible stories emerge about these 'rescues' who claim to be followers of No Kill. Shelters included too. Pets are becoming pawns in a deadly game of Dr. Feelgood. 

This is a letter written to Wings of Rescue about their bringing in California pets. Wings of Rescue brought in diseased pets as well, putting Canadian pets in jeopardy with disease they don't deal with much there. 

Shannon Cripps
Yesterday at 1:44pm
This is the email I wrote to Wings of rescue. I do not think it will be well received, or even acknowledged really but we shall see.

"I am a volunteer and board member with a Pit Bull specific rescue here in Alberta Canada. It was brought to my attention through several outlets today about a transport scheduled in early June you have facilitated. I read through your post online regarding your "When Pitties Fly" campaign and while I admire your dedication and commitment to saving these American dogs, I would like to ask you to take a few things into consideration before continuing your endeavor.

Our rescue group has been in the Alberta officially since 2005, specifically Calgary. We relocated to Edmonton in 2009 and have functioned province wide since. In the past 4 years, we have seen a literal explosion of bully breeders and importers alike, and it has come with a huge amount of concern and alarm in the past 2 years especially as we see the full circle impact both are having on our province. For approximately 3 months in 2013, our group imported a small number of dogs from California. We realized, in that brief period of time, that we were in fact having a very negative impact on our efforts to rescue and rehome local dogs and immediately ceased any and all operations pertaining to the importation of dogs into our group.

I would ask that you consider the following information when you choose to relocate dogs into Canada, and perhaps rethink the methods and feasibility of the mass transport of 200 plus dogs a year into our country.

First off, I need to address the one comment that prompted me to write this email at all; Canada does not have a shortage of pit bulls. This is a complete and utter fallacy and whatever source that information stemmed from is vastly misinformed. As a country, pit bulls in Canada are the number one euthanized dog nation wide, and while we may not show the staggering numbers you do in the US, I can assure you that we euthanize tens of thousands of them yearly in our country. Our group alone receives dozens of requests weekly to take pit bull type dogs from our local provincial shelters, clinics and humane societies, to say nothing about the massive numbers of requests we get from nation wide groups in the BSL province of Ontario where a complete ban on the breed still exists. It also needs to be said that the sheer numbers won't hold up for long as the province of Alberta is populated with approx 4 million people, while California holds a population of over 38 million. In fact, the entire population of Canada is still 3 million less than that of the state of California! Last year it was estimated that over 10,000 dogs were imported into Canada, while over 600,000 were euthanized in our shelters.

Secondly, we are seeing full circle what happens to many dogs brought up here. We have received numerous requests in the past 2 years since importation boomed to take in US dogs that have landed back in Canadian shelters. We get weekly pleas for help from adopters who cannot get assistance from their adoptive groups. In a worst case scenario, these animals are ending up on Facebook sale sites, Kijiji and Craigslist to be sold to another family. Usually, the reasons are the same as why they landed in the US shelters to begin with- behavior problems, health problems, lack of available housing, lack of training support from the adoptive rescues, financial hardship and the worst in my mind- the dog doesn't fit the family or isn't what it was represented as. It has become apparent that far too many of the rescues spearheading these imports are not capable, nor willing, to commit to the needs of both dogs and adopters long term. Poor rescue practices are being illuminated by these returns to the Canadian system and they are becoming the responsibility of other groups in the areas, pulling resources from our own dog population and in the worst cases, posing harm to our community health both animal and human.

We have recently (in the past 10 days) seen 5 separate dog attack incidents in Calgary, 3 of which are confirmed pit bull type dogs and one suspected pit bull. The temperature of acceptance towards pit bulls in the city is cooling rapidly in light of these recent events and BSL is once again on the table thanks to a very pro-BSL head of the animal bylaw department. In our own experience, many of these imported dogs are not sufficiently behaviourly assessed prior to placement, nor are they given suitable "down time" prior to adoption to ensure the best placement possible. Behaviour issues are being brought to us (and other non related groups) for help because the import rescue is unable to assist and lacks the resources needed to deal with the challenges. In some cases, this has resulted in dogs being surrendered to other rescues (again pulling resources from local dogs), or back into our shelters where they are most often euthanized.

It was recently highlighted in several online forums and discussions that most of the dogs imported into Canada are "cherry picked" as the best of the bunch available in the high kill shelters of the US, leaving the less desirable dogs behind to face their death. In essence, we are taking the most adoptable dogs out of the US and leaving behind the dogs most at risk anyways, thus not really improving their plight.
While I can understand the position you are in and we are all well aware how awful the outcome is for may pitties in US shelters, I hope that you will take the information I've shared with some consideration as to the long term implications of sending masses of dogs into Canada, where our population base is not any better equipped to handle more homeless pets than yours is."

This blog is addressing the problem of bringing disease. Authored by a well known Canadian vet who has concerns about the importation of diseases not prevalent in Canada. 

We need to think about why and how dogs are imported, and we need to address these questions: 

Is there a net benefit to the dog population, or does importation harm local adoption efforts? 
Is the vanity factor why most people get an imported dog? (Yes, you have a nice new phone, but look at Vladimir, my rescue dog from Siberia.) 
Is it because there is truly an unmet need for certain dogs in North America? 
Is it because there is inadequate education about the over-abundance of local adoptable dogs? 
Do our lax importation rules create risk to our dog population and the public? 

Georgia has just passed regulations addressing transports. 

GA - Of interest to rescue organizations, concerned advocates, and anyone engaged in the interstate rescuing of animals
Press Release on Persons Authorized to Obtain Animals on Behalf of Licensed Animal Shelters/Rescues
October 19, 2015
Georgia Department of Agriculture
Gary W. Black, Commissioner
Persons Authorized to Obtain Animals on Behalf of Licensed Animal Shelters/Rescues
Anyone or any group that obtains animals from a licensed Animal Shelter/Rescue with the intent of re-homing the animal is required to apply for and obtain an "Animal Shelter License" from the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Georgia Animal Protection Act Rule 40-13-13-.02 (9) states that The Commissioner may refuse to issue or renew or may suspend or revoke a license on any one or more of the following grounds:
(d) allowing a license issued under this chapter to be used by an unlicensed person
In Georgia, Animal Rescue Organizations are required to operate as a non-profit organization. To obtain the non-profit status they must be incorporated with the Georgia Secretary of State
Georgia Department of Agriculture rule: 40-13-13-.01(5) defines what is considered to be an "Animal Shelter in Georgia and rule: 40-13-13-.01(30) defines what is considered to be an "Animal Rescue" in Georgia.
40-13-13-.01 (5) “Animal shelter” means any facility operated by or under contract for the state, county, municipal corporation, or any other political subdivision of the state for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted dogs, cats, and other animals; any veterinary hospital or clinic operated by a veterinarian or veterinarians which operates for such purpose in addition to its customary purposes; and any facility operated, owned, or maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, or other nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals. Only government agencies or organizations that are contracted with a government agency to perform animal control services have the authority to impound animals.
40-13-13-.01 (30) “Rescue Group” means any association or corporation operated as a non-profit organization and for the purpose of providing care and shelter to animals. Except rescue groups for equine, a rescue group that takes possession of animals and provides care and shelter must be licensed as an animal shelter or under written contract with a licensed animal shelter, in which case it will be considered an agent for the animal shelter and not an animal shelter itself. An equine rescue group operating for that purpose and maintaining any facility (including, without limitation, providing temporary care at a person’s private property) must meet all the requirements of a licensed stable. Rescue groups are not authorized to impound animals unless they are contracted by a government agency in Georgia to provide Animal Control Services.
In order for a person to obtain animals from a County or municipal Animal shelter with the intent of re-homing that animals, they must be the corporate president, one of the corporate officers of the Licensed Rescue organization or a person that is authorized by the Rescue to obtain animals on their behalf.
To obtain animals on behalf of a licensed Animal Rescue organization the Rescue president or one of the corporate officers must certify the authorized person by presenting the Animal Shelter with an authorization letter approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. A template for this letter can be found at
The Authorization letter shall state: The name of the person that is obtaining the animal The persons address and phone number – email if available A form of personal identification The letter must be signed and dated by the authorized person and the Animal Shelter and will be kept on file at the Animal Shelter. This agreement may be terminated by either party at any time for any reason.
If at any time the Authorized person becomes "Unauthorized" to obtain animals on behalf of the licensed rescue, the President or corporate officers of the rescue must notify the Animal Shelter in writing within 7 days. A copy of the termination correspondence must be kept on file at the Animal Shelter. This correspondence may be by email; however, it must be signed by the President or Corporate officer of the licensed rescue.
Out of State Rescue organizations that are obtaining animals with the intent of rehoming them must apply for a non-resident license with theGeorgia Department of Agriculture Companion Animal Section. The contact number is 404-656-4914. The annual fee for a non-resident license is $400 annually. Out of State rescues must adhere to the same policy concerning the authorization of individuals that may obtain animals on their behalf. An additional requirement for non-resident Animal Rescue Organizations is to execute consent to the jurisdiction of the Courts in this State as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 4-11-6 § 4-11-6.
Applicability of article to nonresidents; consent to jurisdiction; service Any person who is not a resident of this state but who engages in this state in any activities for which a license is required by this article shall be subject to this article as to such activities. Each nonresident applicant for a license required by this article shall be required as a condition of licensure to execute a consent to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state for any action filed under this article; and service of process in any such action shall be by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery by the Commissioner.
A consent form template and application can be obtained on our website at:
This consent may be also be emailed with the license application to
An Animal rescue organization or transport may also be subject U.S.D.A. regulations (Animal Welfare Act). See regulations on our website.
And to show you a typical transport, and ask if you think this is humane.

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