I have been trying to think about how to write about what's going on with the news stories recently (and not so recently) with dogs being imported to Atlantic Canada and the problems that are being caused by them.
It's being going on for awhile. For years actually. People have always brought dogs from away - dogs that they've fallen in love with while away on vacation in fabulous locales in places around the world. That's lovely and there's nothing wrong with that - but dogs are coming here at the rate of 100's a month at this point and it seems to have become unmanageable in some people's eyes.
Literally - all you need to get a dog into Canada is a rabies vaccination and a visual examination by a border offical at the Canadian border certifying that the dog is healthy and bob's your uncle - you are over the border and free and clear. Those 60 or so dogs you've crammed into your cube van that have been in there in stacked crates for 60 hours on a non-stop journey may all have heartworm, coccidia, and any number of other lovely hosts - but the Canadian border officials - really do NOT care if you've got that rabies certificate.
And that is the truth. Otherwise - explain how all these sick dogs seem to end up in Nova Scotia? I'll wait.
Anyhoo. It all started with Hearts of the North - who claim up and down that they are NOT a rescue - (a lot of organizations who places dogs in homes claim that - another group claims that too - Elderdog - who I love and are a super group - also says they are NOT a rescue) Hearts of the north was created on April 25, 2015 according to their facebook page - and that's when the flood gates opened up.
So Hearts of the North was first - but they certainly were not the last - once people started realizing that money could be made off the backs of rescue dogs - there is now a multi multi million dollar industry around the buying, moving and selling of rescue dogs - and Nova Scotians are being made to suffer for it. There is now Save a life Canada Animal Rescue, Fetch a Dog Animal Transport, Fly with me rescue, South Paw Conservation Society, Relinquished Souls Animal Rescue - even the NS SPCA has been planning on importing animals from the States - these are just a couple I thought of off the top off my head - I don’t know if they’ve starred yet - they even have a page on their website justifying why they wanted to do it :( - https://www.novascotiaspca.ca/services-care/transport-program/pet-transport-faq/
Importing rescues in Nova Scotia are now the norm - rescuing dogs that are local to Nova Scotia? No one cares about them anymore - that's not sexy - people want dogs that have good back stories - give me a dog that was minutes away from being killed on the kill floor in Texas - give me a dog that refused to fight in a fight ring in Georgia - give me a chihuhua from the mean streets of Mexico.
I am a person who believes that dogs are sentient - they are individucals just like us - that's why I fight so hard against torture tools like shock collars and prong collars and aversive types of dog training - it's why I started a rescue here in Nova Scotia to save chained dogs and worked to change the legislation here so that chaining dogs continuously is now illegal - it's why I worked really hard so that puppies are not sold in pet stores and its illegal to kill your own pet now - it's why when the SPCA was corrupt I worked to change things there.
Nova Scotia has a population of about a million people - the population of Texas is somewhere over 30 million people and I think maybe Georgia has about that many people too - I ask this question over and over and no one seems to be able to give me an adequate answer - how is Nova Scotia supposed to solve Texas and Georgia's stray and homeless dogs' problem?
It is a question that has flummoxed me since this problem emerged - how is deluging Nova Scotia - and actually the whole of Canada - with unstable, sick animals - going to solve the southern US's problems?
We have done a phenomenal job here of spaying and neutering so that there isn't a huge excess animal population here - that is a GOOD thing! There isn't a problem with importing animals when it is done CORRECTLY - and there are importing rescues doing things right- but there are some "rescues" that need to just be shut down. They are too dangerous to the public good.
(Can I interject here for a second here something about Fly with me that I’ve never heard another rescue do - it was revealed this week in a Chronicle Herald article that they anesthesize - they dope up - dogs after they arrive from the south - do they do that to every dog that arrives? Who knows - but they did that to one dog who ended up in the news - really - what responsible rescue does this? Correct answer - they do NOT)
Rescues like Fly with me. They have been in the news a lot. Rescues like Hearts of the North - they - or should I say - Connie Madsen - doesn't care about anyone but themselves.
And so now maybe I should get on to the subject of this post? The grifting - because at the end of the days for these importing rescues - that's what it's all about - the absolutely huge amounts of money that is to be made off the backs of the dogs that they are bringing up here - unbelievable huge amounts of mopney that they are making.
Let me break it down for you - because this is the thing that they always scream the loudest that I'm lying about.
The dogs that they are saving - come up here already pre spayed and neutred by the originating rescue - they don't tell you that - they've also already had their shots too - they might also be having their heartworm treatment if they're heartworm positive - and they're STILL GOING to be heartworm positive when they arrrive here.
So what you are paying for in your adoption fee is the transport costs - and that's the biggest scam - that's probably the person making the most money but I'll get to that later.
Adoption fees run from $450-$700 right now I think - none lower but some are higher. So taking that lower figure - Fly with me recently announced that they've saved 500 dogs from the south to Nova Scotia - so $450 x 500 equals $225,000 IN ONE YEAR - in adoption fees ALONE.
But that's only one part of the grift people. Because what these rescues do is that they have fundraisers running constantly - it's really unbelievable - I have been in rescue since 2002 - when I was in rescue I never had time to do fund raisers because I was either too busy taking care of dogs or too busy rescuing dogs - but they have constant gofundme's and constantly online fundraisers - and they are always posting asking for donations to their paypal accounts and to top it off - they have Amazon wish lists - I think I'll start up an amazon wish list - I really want a cri cut machine - it will really improve the quality of my life and the dogs life - fuck those damn southern dogs, am i rite?
Hearts of the North has a fund raiser - every Friday - email Connie $5 just because - no other reason - I mean - I mean - I don't thinik a marketer making $500,000 a year could have come up with this one.
In 2014 Provincial Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell began meeting yearly with members of the animal advocacy community and in 2016 he asked us if there was anything that would improve the lives of animals in Nova Scotia and I said that regulations around animal rescues would really help - he gave us time to work on them - I wrote some regulations - but until now nothing has happened unfortuntely - and we are here in March 2021 and really - the animals and humans of Nova Scotia ARE suffering because of these importing rescues - they are bringing in diseases we don't have, they are aggressive - they are not being properly assessed in their originating country.
I said before there are some rescues who do things correctly - importing companion animals can be a good thing - but the government of Canada has got to crack down on this before someone dies - either from a dog attack or from acquiring a disease from an infected animal - it's going to happen.
We have to acknowledge the fact that the southern states refuses to spay and neuter their animals. Why? I have no ideas - there are so many ngo's already on the ground down trying to work to make things better and still there are too many animals - should the whole of Canada be made to suffer for it?
So this is my idea and maybe you'll understand these importing rescues grift with my business plan. Instead of going to the south - why don't we rescue Canadian dogs - did you know that 500,000 animals are killed in Canada every year? And 400,000 of them are in Quebec alone - it's only a 13 hour drive to Montreal - I've done it tons of times myself on my own - I propose crowd funding to buy a van, (and can I interject here that Save a life Canada Animal Rescue Society crowd funded for a van at some point and got the amount that they needed for a van, bought it and I don't know if we ever saw that van again - except for maybe at the Co-op in Springhill on Saturday mornings) - make some relationships with vendors around Montreal and then bing bang boom saving some animals and bringing them here and adopting them out.
The originating shelter has to pay for everything though - and the animal has to be young cute and healthy with no behavioural problems - and the people adopting have to adopt based on the photo.
And I will interject to say that there are several Nova Scotia importing rescues who ARE DOING THIS EXACT SAME THING RIGHT NOW with pit bull type dogs - adopting based on a photo and text description alone. Read that again.
So other than gas and some food - because you know I''m going to be sleeping in that van - and a cursory vet check to get that health certificate - that's all free money for me, baby. And guess what - that's all free money for the other importing rescues too.
You may say that these dogs I’m getting from Quebec — they are going to have health problems that weren’t diagnosed in the shelter they came from - that’s no problem! That’s what PayPal, email transfers and GoFundMe are for! You can make a humongous amount of extra money through sick docs! I remember a few years ago a rescue made $50,000 on one sick dog that got a lot of press - sounds good to me!
Get it now?
So who wants to buy me a van so I can go get some free dogs and make the dream happen? And where are we on that cri cut machine?
Can I also add a little bit here at the end about how all these rescues lie about heartworm? This has bugged the hell out of me since the beginning - since the first rescue imported the first heartworm positive dog - these people think they know more than the veterinerians - this screen grab proves it - it's from the "rescue" - "Dog and Cat Adoptables of Atlantic Canada" - they are the ones who brought the poor dog up from the south who had the poor dog so full of heart worms he could barely move and they said when he arrived here he was heartworm free and maybe they got his paperwork mixed up with some other dogs - as if - paperwork gets mixed up all the time according to folks like these - this is one of my big bugaboos