October 3rd, 2008
Our week in Canada has definitely been a whirlwind. It’s now Friday and we have just one full day left before we all have to leave our puppy mill dogs in the hands of the Montreal SPCA staff and volunteers. The future for so many of these hundreds of dogs is already being lined up by the SPCA’s amazing staff person Jenn. She, with the help of many others, is constantly on the phone making arrangements for foster care with eventual adoption. There is a good chance that we’ll be able to find new forever homes for them in the states.
The facility we’re in used to be a training center for the SPCA. The “agility room,” which is the largest room, is stacked and packed with crates with dogs from the second seizure. Then we have the “puppy room” with pups and now we’ve added adult dogs from seizure #1; the “side room” with dogs from seizure one; and the “big dog room,” “big dog room 2” and the “bad boy room” with another row of “big dogs who aren’t bad boys” — all from seizure #2. And there is yet another room, the “nursery” with pups and moms with pups from seizure #2. And we can’t forget the cats! Luckily the cats from seizure #1 were able to move over to the SPCA today, leaving behind the one cat from seizure #2. It’s incredible to think how everyone has come together to deal with such a large number of dogs on top of the need to keep their care/needs separated. None of the dogs from the two different puppy mills are housed or cared for together. Wow, that’s a lot to worry about! But we’re doing it. And well.
When I compare the puppy mill experience to another type of disaster response, I don’t feel like there is a big difference in the day-to-day work. The work is hard, you sweat a lot, you’re exhausted, you have a purpose. The biggest difference is that I’m not sleeping in my car or a tent, or using a port-a-potty. We’re in a hotel! AND the hotel has a starbucks. Wow.