Thursday, February 11, 2016

Some MUST READ Statistics On Canada's Pet Overpopulation Problem


AirAngels receives a minimum of 3 requests to help dogs from abroad to every 1 request from a Canadian Rescue to help a Canadian dog, a ratio of 3 to 1 - that’s how popular importing dogs has become in Canada.

At least 600,000* dogs in Canada are euthanized every year (500,000 in Quebec alone)…..There are thousands of dogs waiting to enter rescues in every province and sadly, many Canadians seem blissfully unaware of our homeless dog overpopulation. Most Canadians are uninformed about the methods by which dogs are ‘euthanized’ in our own country - lethal injection (the most ‘humane’), gas chambers, heart sticking and gun shot.
We began AirAngels to encourage Canadians to shop for their family pet across Canada and to choose a rescued pet. Apparently, we need to improve and Canadian Rescues need to find their voice - the message to shop Canadian isn’t hitting home. The numbers of rescued dogs coming into Canada while our dogs are being euthanized is overwhelming.

The United States has interstate requirements for the transportation of dogs & cats - we don’t have interprovincial requirements. Canada does not have requirements/ best practises for our public transportation of dogs & cats, those requirements are left to the Corporations. We don’t have a Canadian standard for guidelines or best practises in our shelters or rescues.

Canada does have CFIA requirements to follow for pets entering Canada. These requirements are not as strict as other countries & Canada does not require quarantine. Rescued pets entering Canada destined for rescues under 8 months of age ( dogs rescued and destined for an animal welfare organization ) have become a hotly debated topic.

We have Canadian citizens / residents who volunteer as fosters for Mexican, Korean, Taiwanese, etc, dogs. We have Canadians who are opening rescues to import 70 dogs or more from Egypt & Israel …. It would be easier for us to list the names of the countries who haven’t contacted us than list the names of the countries who have - it’s obvious that dog overpopulation is a global problem.

There seems to be a direct correlation between importing and holiday hot spots & tourist destinations - our most popular importing countries are Mexico, Jamaica & Dominican Republic.

There are weekly & monthly car/van/truck transports of rescued pets from America & Mexico crossing our border, and there are escorted flights (by individual passengers) from tourist destinations & International Rescue Organisations arriving at our Airports frequently.

The risk of spreading Infectious disease has our Vets concerned & should concern you. Many of the viruses, bacteria, worms & other parasites can travel between species and can affect you, your children & your pets. We aren’t discouraging individuals from importing a rescued pet or a Rescue & their escorts from helping a sister Rescue in another country however the numbers are increasing rapidly, and we’d like you to ensure these pets are healthy before entering Canada….Vetted, vaccinated & treated for vector borne diseases found in the exporting country (fleas, ticks, worms, etc) . Please follow the CFIA requirements, do your homework & ensure you aren’t importing more than just your rescued pet.

Our AirAngel Facebook page & our posts reflect our growing concerns with worms & other ugly parasites & diseases foreign to Canada that could & have been imported. . &

The numbers of dogs entering Canada far exceeds the numbers of dogs leaving Canada - we have transported dogs destined for American homes but those numbers are few in comparison.
It's trendy to support our local farmers & shop for home grown & organic produce ~ for some reason shopping to adopt our home grown dogs and cats isn’t as trendy. We’ve become proud to tell everyone at the dog park about the dog we rescued from an exotic country but did we consider the homeless pets in our own Province and Country?

Canadian rescued dogs are handled by volunteer organisations (Rescues & Shelters) across Canada and it’s estimated that these smaller rescues are responsible for more dogs than our larger Humane Societies and SPCA’s. These are non- profit non- salaried organisations existing solely by donations. All our shelters/rescues have a huge task and our numbers keep growing.

Neuter/spay or contraception, across Canada, would be the answer but again Canadian neuter/spay groups are volunteer groups of weekend warriors who survive by donations. Ideally, it would be wonderful if every Province could establish a neuter/spay policy and assist these rescues with their costs but until the ideal becomes a reality - this problem falls on volunteers to solve.

Canadian Rescues often work together & ship dogs province to province - from an area with too many to an area with fewer dogs & a larger chance of adoption…… transportation is an issue especially if they need large numbers moved and it’s costly.

Dogs coming from isolated regions require vetting, treating & quarantine after vaccination before transporting and all of this takes manpower (foster power) & time and money.

Canada has an estimated 500,000 homeless dogs in our Northern Provinces. We should be supporting those devoted to solving a problem - Jan Hannah & the Northern Dog Project, Dr. Judith Samson-French’s Dogs with No Names, CAAT Canadian Animal Assistance Team ….. Most Provinces now have established volunteer neuter/spay /contraception groups. We’re moving forward but we still need homes for those ‘dogs with no names’ .

Who’s in charge ? …… Judging by the number of petitions, there’s a lack of regulations, requirements, guidelines for the welfare of pets in Canada. Our dogs and cats seem to be governed by volunteers with good intentions. We’d like to see everyone involved with animal welfare , Vets (CVMA & Provincial VMA’s), CFIA & Humane Societies & Rescues, working together - there’s a disconnect & confusion resulting in complaints from both sides.

We aren’t predicting a pending apocalypse but we do feel it will take something terrible to happen before Canadians act.

Lyme Ticks crossing our border, migrating birds spreading the bird flu & mosquitos with heartworm & the list goes on & on. Doctors and Vets who deal with this global world have our admiration. We dread spreading Parvo, Distemper or Rabies now add dogs from another country with the potential of introducing weird worms and ugly parasites and it’s a challenge for man, his dog & the medical profession.

Sincerely Linda Rohdin for AirAngels -

Please read on -

A FEW STATS - and related links

With 500,000 in Quebec and an estimated million in Canada’s North & using the CFHS stats , we're close to 2 million homeless dogs - if an estimated 35 % of Canadians are pet owners - Canadians may need to adopt several pets.....
Canada’s Population estimate
(October 2013) 35,295,770
US Population 316, 148,990 (2013)
Population of California (2013) - estimated to be 38,041,430, (larger than Canada)
Population of Quebec 8.081 million (2012)
Approximately 35% of Canadian households have a dog, ...

Volunteers struggle to reduce wild dog population plaguing native reserves - - “ Dr. Samson-French believes there could be as many as a million unhoused dogs on reserves across Canada. She estimates there are at least two semi-wild dogs for every home on a reserve. Although Aboriginal Affairs has conducted no research on the subject, it’s not uncommon for children to die of dog attacks and for remote reserves to conduct culls.”

What’s happening at Canada’s Animal Shelters -

Manitoba homeless dog estimate:


On Canada Day - The SPCA told Global News that every year around Moving Day, July 1st, the number of abandoned pets triples to nearly 1,600 a month - "At least 50,000 animals a year are impounded in Montréal alone, with the estimated number of animals impounded annually in the Province of Quebec at over 500,000. This means each year hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized in this Province. These numbers are not going to decrease unless far-reaching measures are taken quickly." (Source:
~ this year (2013) has been, by far, the worst for the number of appeals / pleas etc for animals in need in Quebec.

Half a million unwanted pets euthanized in Quebec in 2013. By Dr. Wybranowski
We Canadians kill dogs:

Worms & Germs by Dr. Scott Weese DVM DVSc DipACVIM

Chagas disease -

WORLD MAP - Each country in the world has its specific occurrence of CVBDs (Canine Vector Borne Diseases: diseases transmitted by parasites - also called vectors - such as ticks, flies, fleas, sand flies and mosquitoes), depending on climate and endemic vectors.

5 Calgary dogs diagnosed with rare infectious disease-

Owners told there is a potential risk of contracting Brucella canis bacteria from their animals-
Local Saskatchewan Rescue speaks about numbers of dogs killed in Saskatchewan and what they are doing to help ....

*Note: the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies surveys the CFHS membership for statistics, however survey response is voluntary with very few members responding. The membership does not include local pounds, Animal Control facilities, Rescue Organizations. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to determine the exact number of dogs ‘euthanized’ in Canada.

Seems an enormous task…..handled by volunteer groups across Canada.