Thursday, March 10, 2016

Nova Scotia's rescue community is not short on small breed dogs

Nova Scotia is not immune to the current fad of groups forming to import dogs from the United States and other parts of Canada.

Usually they say it's because there is a shortage of small breed dogs that come into rescue in our province - they also say that it's because we are a no-kill province, so dogs aren't in danger here like they are in other places on the continent, so there's no urgency for rescue dogs here - and a "life is a life, no matter where the dog is".

While I agree with the statement that a life is a life no matter where that life is - there are dogs who are in danger here in Nova Scotia.

Because we are a no-kill province - there is a limit on the amount of dogs that can come into rescue at any given moment, because we don't kill for space, or for the health condition of the animal that's in rescue, so sometimes a dog can be in foster care or a shelter for months at a time - taking up space until he finds his perfect forever home - meaning that dogs who do need to be rescued - and are sometimes in very precarious spots - being chained outside in very unsafe conditions, or in a home that is in very bad conditions - cannot come into rescue because there's just no place for him to go - so because of that - there are dogs suffering right here in Nova Scotia for lack of good homes..

By bringing in these imported dogs - we are taking away forever homes for dogs that are already looking for homes from native Nova Scotia dogs - which to me is not a good thing.

Until there are no Nova Scotian dogs who need homes - we should not be importing dogs from California, Texas, Cancun, or wherever.

I don't think we shouldn't be helping them - but we can help them by supporting them where they are - sponsoring them, donating to the shelters where they are, and doing things like that - but we don't need to bring them here.  It is hurting the dogs who are already here.

And as to the myth being perpetuated that there are no small dogs coming into rescue in Nova Scotia - that is a big fat myth that needs to be dispelled - small dogs - and puppies - come into rescue just as much as big dogs - sometimes you just need to wait a little while and have a bit of patience.

The key is to contact responsible rescues - tell them that a small dog is the type of dog that suits your lifestyle the best - and get pre-approved for that type of dog - and then when one comes in - it can go directly to you - any responsible rescue will work with you - and there are lots of rescues who will do that.  I have a list of responsible rescues on my Charlie Loves Halifax page at - Charlie's links -

And if you need some more confirmation - here are some pictures of rescue dogs that have passed through my doors in the last few years - and notice their size - and I am just one rescuer out of literally hundreds in the province of Nova Scotia - and yes, these dogs all found wonderful forever homes within the province of Nova Scotia.

And maybe the most famous of all small rescue dogs - Buttercup - who was adopted from the Nova Scotia SPCA in August 2003


  1. Anne Lake4:39 AM

    After reading your article I contacted a number of the rescues and SPCA's on your list. They all confirmed that while there are a number of "smaller dogs" for adoption it is widely recognized that the number of medium and large size dogs available outnumber them in some cases by 50 to 1 and that there are actually waiting lists for small adoptable dogs. A sad fact but true.

    1. But they did say that there are a number of small dogs - not everyone wants a small dog - and how did you get so many replies through the night? You posted this at 4:39 in the morning? How many rescues did you actually contact and which ones?

  2. Shannelle Ruddick3:21 PM

    Anne Lake is a huge supporter of the animals and rescues, she's also a researcher, and I myself am a professional marketer, and researcher. Her facts are true, this article is not based on educated facts at all. It was created to sabotage other rescues and their missions, not to help the animals. As your article says "a life is a life". Base your facts on that, not judgement or negativity.

    1. Actually - Shannelle COUNTAWAY - it IS based on facts - I have been involved with dog advocate community in Nova Scotia since 2003 - I do have a bit of knowledge in my little brain - and the contents of this blog post are based on this - actual facts - just because you don't agree with them doesn't make them any less factual. Sorry about that if you don't agree with them.

      You can have your rescue that is bringing in dogs from the USA - but it doesn't mean that people will agree with it and bring a lot of push back - when the dogs start coming in with heart worm and rabies - then there will be a big problem for all Nova Scotians.

  3. So...a life is a life? Explain to me why, as a Canadian, I should donate to shelters for animals or homeless people or any other Canadian cause? Maybe I should just send money to Mexican shelters, or U.S. based soup kitchens rather than address the problems staring me right in the face here in Canada? We absolutely have to clean up our problems first, then help all others as we can.

  4. There may be lots of small dogs in need of homes in NS, but I have to question the actual "availability" of these dogs to people outside the "ring of rescue." I think many go to "friends" rather than actually being posted for adoption. Committing yourself to a relationship for life with a dog is a very serious and personal decision. You should have the right to make your own choice as to who it is you want to love and commit to.

  5. Joan, well said.