I am all for rescuing an animal. I love the way people step up to the plate and take in an animal of unknown origins and of unknown treatment. I think this is admirable and shows how caring a person can be.
Now here is the BUT. Over the years as a dog walker I met many people in the parks who have rescued a dog or cat from the southern part of the United States. Great, how wonderful, I give you kudos for your need to help an animal is distress. Again here is the BUT. In the US things like heart worm and rabies are at epidemic proportions compared to Canada. Of these dogs that I have met over the years, 3 of these dogs came up here with full-blown HeartWorm. 2 others had Parvo. 3 where thought to have been exposed to Rabies, one of which died shortly after getting here. There have been many many others with a wide range of diseases which in Canada are pretty much non-existent, rare or not an issue or epidemic.
I knew at the time this was not right, but I did not dare say anything as I knew I would be verbally assaulted. No matter how passionate you are about rescuing animals, putting our healthy pets in jeopardy is irresponsible and uncaring. You have not thought this out. You gave little to no thought to how this might affect our pets. All you cared about at that moment was the poor animal and satisfying YOUR need to feel better that YOU made a difference in an animal’s life.
Now with the small percentage of animals I have encountered with these deadly health issues, how many do you think have gotten in under the radar that we don’t know about? You know that saying about seeing one cockroach……..There are a million more.
How and why does this bother me so much? I have a dog and this dog cannot be treated for heartworm as the medication needed to kill the worms, will kill him! No it’s not a question of whether he can tolerate the meds, it is a FACT and he has been taken off all types of meds with any kind of pesticide. Including even a simple flea collar. He is highly sensitive to these harsh medications.
I am not the only owner with a dog or cat with this kind of sensitivity. That being the aside, why should we tolerate exposing our pets to these horrible health risks at all? There is no need for this. The animals can still come here, only they should be given a clean bill of health BEFORE crossing the border into Canada. How is it that we can’t take our personal pets into the US without a rabies certificate but a dog without an owner can get in with known deadly health issues?
I want to let all the Rescue Operations out there know that I am no longer going to support you if you continue to bring in sick diseased animals. This practice must STOP and stop now. I am going to be screaming this from the roof tops if I see or hear of one more animal coming into Canada with deadly health risks to not only our pets but our wildlife.
If you think I am being overly reactive and if you think what I am saying is bullocks, then read the recent article in the Winter Issue of Animal Talk Magazine. This is distributed to all members of The Toronto Human Society. The article in particular is called “Heartworm Health Crisis in Ontario” I think the title says it all.
You need to be more aware of what is going on and you need to be more vigilant of where the animal is coming from and how its health was or is when it gets here.
It is the full responsibility of all the Rescue Operations to ensure the animals they are bringing in to Canada are healthy in every way! Hell we stopped Cattle because of Mad Cow, how is it that this is being overlooked or allowed?
Now I am going to feed my dogs, give them a kiss on the head and pray they don't get sick.
6 months ago