The Humane Society International/Canada announced this morning that it assisted in the rescue of more than 400 dogs and puppies from a huge commercial breeding facility - that is, a large-scale puppy mill - in Outaouais, Québec.
After multiple investigations revealed the dogs were not receiving even basic care, HSI Canada worked with the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and local law enforcement to seize and remove hundreds of golden retrievers, chow chows, Chihuahuas and many other breeds from what HSI Executive Director Rebecca Aldworth called "some of the most inhumane conditions I've seen."
"By far, this was the largest commercial breeding facility, involving some of the most inhumane conditions, that our Animal Rescue Team has ever encountered in Canada," said Lauren Scott of HSI Canada. "Hundreds of dogs were denied their most basic needs and proper care and lacked adequate socialization."
The rescued dogs were taken to an emergency shelter in Québec, where they will be cared for, checked by a team of veterinarians, and given any necessary veterinary care. Animal welfare teams worked throughout the night to assess, examine and catalogue the animals.
The historic seizure came days before the government of Québec is expected to release the province's updated animal welfare (P-42) regulations. HSI Canada ranks Québec as the worst province for animals and has been lobbying for stronger animal protection laws. The new updates will - we hope - shut down the worst puppy mill operations in Canada, and greatly increased penalties for violations.
This is great news for the rescued animals, and maybe for the future, as well. Had the rescue come a few months earlier, we might have driven to Québec to adopt one of the lucky 400. But then we wouldn't have Diego, and what good what that be?
For more info on animal protection in Canada: No Puppy Mills Canada