Just back from the Montreal SPCA. Omg. You may have heard there were 2 raids on puppy mills near Montreal in the past week. Quebec has the worst record for mills seeing as the laws are not applied aggressively and there are never enough inspectors. We need the law to change, but it's taking forever!
It's great these dogs get a new lease on life and that they saved about 300
of them in both seizures, but the shelter is incredibly overwhelmed with the care these animals need. I volunteered to help out this morning and was there from 8-2. It is HARD, but you put on latex gloves, you get in the cages and scrape off the poop, the pee soaked paper, wash everything and hold on to these emaciated, trembling, scab-crusted, abused dogs and try not to think with your heart, but rather focus on the future these dogs have now.
They are almost all purebreds (from chihuahuas and maltese to huskies and great danes), used as puppy machines, bitches with teats down to their knees, and every rib and hip bone showing. They have eye and ear infec'ns, bad and missing teeth, patches of fur missing, feet splayed from living on wire for years, nails curled under because they've never been trimmed, scabs and scars from God only knows what .... and more.....
After two hours of cleaning, feeding and giving water, we then took them out one or two at a time to give them some loving and socializing. I was in the room with the smaller dogs (there are way too many of them!) as it's too hard for me to move larger dogs around and often had two Maltese or mini poodles at a time, sitting on my lap, walking them in the hallway to give them a break from the constant barking and howling from the others. They can't go outdoors yet, as their immune systems need a bit of time to get stronger - though I can only imagine the bacteria and germs that are INSIDE the shelter, compared to outdoors! It's too bad, as these dogs are now so used to eliminating in their cages and in hallways, that it will take time to housetrain them. Some have been doing that in their wire cages for years! Some nestled so tightly against me and wouldn't move a muscle, they were so terrified. I just kept on rubbing them, soothing them and hoped they felt a little bit of that.
But then... there are those dogs that are friendly, that love you just because and cant' get enough of ear scratchies and belly rubs, with their butts and tails wagging so hard and they give you hope. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I don't believe that. Sure it will be tough for some of the new owners of these dogs, but it's not impossible. And yeah, I did want to bring home a couple of them.
There were NO Havanese and I'm very grateful for that as it means they aren't on the "gotta have one" list for most people.
There were 3 Great Danes, one a new mom whose last puppy left today. She's skin and bones, but a beautiful beast no matter what. I love the GD's, but they are HUGE ! This one, Dolly, is a real pussy cat. lol
I had to change before coming home, left my filthy shoes outside so I don't track anything into the house that might harm my own animals and will be scouring in the shower as soon as I can. I have someone coming over in a short while for an estimate on getting our living room floor varnished. Since most everything is out of the room, it would be a good time to do it! Once he's gone, I'm getting into the shower and have myself a good cry. But you know what? I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Sure wish I was physically stronger. Too bad I'm working full time all week (the store owners are going bird hunting). I'll call the SPCA next week to see if I can go then.
So, please, PLEASE, tell everyone you know to stop buying puppies in pet stores!!
IF the pups are from shelters, fine, encourage them, but do ask questions, demand to know names, locations and numbers of breeders so you can check yourself. Spread the word.
Go SEE where the pups are born and raised and think of their moms and dads that live for months, and YEARS in wire crates, crowded, unloved, starved and sick only to be dumped, dead, in a pile once they no longer make money for the operators. The 18 yr. old at the pet shop is paid to tell you what his boss tells him. Question, question, question!