Alberta dog owner, SPCA wonders if new federal puppy import rules go far enough
The new regulations for importing young puppies into Canada from other countries are welcome, but there are also questions about whether they are sufficient.
the new rules introduced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency took effect May 15 and includes a guarantee that any imported dog under eight months of age is born in a kennel and certified by an official veterinarian in the country of origin.
Calgary dog owner Ashley Anderson told Global News she wanted the rules in place in 2018 when she had her French Bulldog Howard on Kijiji.
“I just (saw) it and that was it,” Anderson said.
“I was so distracted by the incredible beauty of this dog that I never thought to ask more questions,” she added. “I was told he had an electronic chip. I was told he had been cleared by the vet.
But Anderson said that just days after he brought him home, Howard became very ill.
“He was positive for two separate parasites, and he was very, very sick. We almost lost it.
Anderson said she repeatedly tried to locate the seller without a response. She eventually grabbed it and discovered Howard was not raised locally. Instead, his passport stated that he had been imported from Ukraine.
Anderson said that over the years Howard’s health deteriorated, requiring extensive testing, treatment and even surgery.
“Howard is no longer able to walk. He’s not able to pee and poop anymore, ”she said.
Howard’s health issues have taken a huge toll on the family, emotionally and financially.
According to the family, his overall treatment totaled around $ 50,000 and the pet insurance didn’t cover everything, so they opened a GoFundMe page for her medical expenses.
“We’re out of pocket for around $ 17,000,” Anderson said.
Dozens of dead dogs arrive at Toronto Pearson International Airport from Ukraine, CFIA says
The controversial practice of allowing puppies imported into Canada is not new.
In June 2020, dozens of sick and dead animals landed at Toronto Airport. The CFIA launched an investigation and subsequently revoked some import permits.
Officials told Global News the new changes should help.
“Changes to the requirements applicable to commercial dogs under eight months of age for breeding and resale end uses (including adoption) are expected to improve compliance,” the CFIA said.
“The CFIA will review the results of the updated requirement to advise of any further potential changes, if any.”
The Alberta SPCA welcomed the changes.
“We think the rules are a step in the right direction,” said Dan Kobe.
The SPCA said it has received complaints about importers and other breeders, adding that many reputable breeders offer “health guarantees.”
As for those who are not famous, at the end of the day there is little the SPCA as an organization can do.
Kobe added that it’s important for consumers to ask the right questions and diligently check any animal before purchasing it.
“The problem remains that puppies are brought in because people are willing to buy them, and as long as people are willing to buy them, it will continue,” Kobe said.
“If you bought the animal on the side of the road or in a parking lot and you haven’t seen where the animal was actually raised, it suddenly becomes more difficult to find that person and hold them accountable.
Alleged Alberta puppy scam thwarted, but not before several buyers were disappointed
Global News was able to track down the person who sold Howard. We decided not to identify him because his family has received several serious threats.
She told Global News that she was the go-between and that she didn’t know whether Howard was healthy or not. She has now reimbursed the Andersons for the cost of the puppy and has helped with other costs.
Anderson said she didn’t regret getting the precious puppy, but regretted how she got it. She also takes full ownership of the mistakes she made.
“I take this blame 100%,” she said.
But Anderson said she would never give up on him now.
“I can’t give up on this dog,” she said.
“Who knows where this dog would have ended up if he had ended up with someone else. They probably would have belittled him.
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