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500 Canadian Puppy Mill Dogs Saved

Story ID:7473
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Quebec -- Canada
Year:2011
Person:Rebecca Aldworth
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Once I remember reading on Oped a scathing denunciation of HSUS's Wayne
Pacelle. Of course, I thought that was terrible and dismissed it outright. I'm not
sure that I read all of it because, even if there may have been even a scintilla of
truth in it, I think it is disingenuous for anyone to criticize someone who obviously
cares about animals as does Pacelle. I wanted to ask the writer about his concern
in this area, but realized he probably had none. He only proved to me that none
of us are perfect, but, of course, wise people know this already.

I get Pacelle's daily blog which contains accounts of what HSUS is doing not only
in the US but globally. Rebecca Aldworth is the Canadian Director of Humane
Society International in Canada (HSI). I had earlier remembered reading about her
attending the horrific baby seal slaughter which takes place on the ice floes of Canada
each year in March. I could not help but think of the great courage it takes to do that
job -seeing baby seals clubbed to death in front of their surely traumatized and helpless
mothers. And for what - a frivolous fur jacket or trimming on a toy? I think the market
is slowing drying up, but the 2011 baby seals were still clubbed to death despite our
heedless and ignored appeals to Prime Minister Harper to stop this carnage. This year
as in previous all too many years, the ice floes were again red with their innocent blood.

Now Aldworth was called upon to aid in the deployment of shutting down a huge puppy
mill operation in Quebec. Working with local law enforcement and the provincial
agriculture department, they came to the aid of more than 500 dogs of over a dozen
breed types at this cruel operation. I will never understand why people want a pure
breed dog or cat. To me all dogs and cats are beautiful and precious with or without
a pedigree. In fact, 95 percent of my 30 rescued cats and 7 rescued dogs were not
pure breed at all.

Pacelle asked Aldworth to describe the proceedings. She said that entering the facility
it was hard to contain their emotion. The hundreds of dogs confined there had been
deprived of even their most basic needs. She and the others were overwhelmed by the
noise and the smells, and this brave lady had tears in her eyes as she found herself
apologizing over and over again to these dogs who had suffered so much for so long.

With an operation of this magnitude, Agriculture Quebec had contacted HSI/Canada
to assist them in this historic rescue. Other groups were called in to help as well. Red
Rover provided trained volunteers to run the shelter until such time that each and every
dog was safe and ready for a new beginning and a chance for a better life. Oceanographic
Environmental Research Society brought in veterinary technicians who offered much
needed and critical support. The Ottawa Humane Society joined HSI/Canada in
removing the dogs from the facility.

It took two days for the HSI Animal Rescue Team to coordinate the mass removal of
these neglected animals. But by days end, these tired rescuers knew that they had
closed down the largest commercial breeding facility in Canada and were instrumental
in transporting 500 deserving dogs to the safety of their emergency shelters where
they were now receiving veterinary care, food and water, and most of all - love and
attention. To be caged for a month, or a year, or even many years is surely hell on
earth for these poor unfortunate dogs. Someone once remarked that if a tortured
animal could visualize their own "devil," it would indeed take the shape of man.

On this day Aldworth was holding a breeding female who the veterinarian told her was
at least 6 years old. It broke her heart to realize what this poor dog went through for
those six horribly long years, but she was grateful to know that now she would be placed
in a loving home - all because of the love and support of the members of the Humane
Society of the US as well as the other contributing groups who were involved in their
rescue.

People like Aldworth are very special in my opinion. How many of us could have
participated in this horrendous rescue? How many of us could have tried to stop the
clubbing of baby seals on the cold ice floes of Canada? Not too many I'm sure. But we
can all help support causes such as this one so that this kind of suffering will never
happen again. The last sentence of the blog says it so well: "Together we can put
commercial breeding operations that put profits before welfare into the history books
where they belong." How wonderful if that day will come soon. Sadly, we still have
way too many puppy mills in our own United States to disband as well -- if that's ever
possible.