Animal protection groups call for provincial and federal action to shut down puppy mills

(Dec. 12, 2008 ) — Humane Society International/Canada and the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued approximately 100 dogs from appallingly inhumane conditions in a puppy mill north of Montreal. This is the third major puppy mill bust for the two organizations in less than three months.

HSI/Canada and the CSPCA joined forces with United Animal Nations to move the ill-treated dogs to an emergency shelter in Montreal, where they will receive the care and medical attention they desperately need after a lifetime of neglect.

“We are relieved these dogs are finally safe, but hundreds of thousands of animals just like them will continue to suffer in miserable conditions until provincial and federal governments act to shut down puppy mill cruelty,” said Rebecca Aldworth, director of animal programs with HSI/Canada. “Premier Jean Charest has promised to introduce mandatory puppy mill registration and set up a task force to investigate the rampant proliferation of puppy mills in Quebec. Now that voters have returned Mr. Charest to office, he must honour these promises and crack down on this inhumane industry.”

Quebec  is the only province in Canada  that does not allow provincial SPCAs to enforce provincial animal welfare laws. Quebec ’s weak provincial animal welfare legislation combined with inadequate enforcement has allowed the province to become a puppy mill haven.

“The horrific conditions we encountered in today’s raid are more proof that Quebec ’s puppy mills must be eradicated. The public backlash against puppy mills has been tremendous and the CSPCA is dedicated to continuing to raise public awareness of the tragedy of puppy mills. We are not going to permit animals to suffer needlessly in the name of profit and we will continue to push for action,” said Alanna Devine, acting executive director of the CSPCA. “Joining forces with other organizations has been absolutely critical in our efforts and the CSPCA is pleased to have had the support of HSI/Canada and UAN to rescue these dogs from abuse and squalor.”

Aldworth noted that this latest rescue comes during the holiday season—the busiest time of year for pet stores that profit from puppy mills. Animal protection groups say the vast majority of puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills and Quebec puppy mills supply pet stores across Canada. This holiday season, HSI/Canada and the CSPCA are encouraging shoppers to make more compassionate choices by adopting a deserving animal from the CSPCA or other local shelter groups instead of purchasing pets from a store. By adopting a healthy and loving dog from a shelter, consumers can help end the suffering experienced by so many animals who are confined to puppy mills for their entire existence.

“UAN has deployed volunteers from throughout Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States to help care for these dogs, who have never known a gentle humane touch or a loving voice,” said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. “We are proud to support the CSPCA and HSI/Canada in their efforts to shut down puppy mills in Quebec once and for all.”

Read UAN’s  blog from the response site.

Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care and humane education. Learn more at

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than ten million members and constituents globally.

The CSPCA was founded in 1869 making it the oldest humane society in Canada. Its mission is to protect animals against negligence, abuse and exploitation and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves by ensuring their well-being. Raising public awareness and helping develop compassion for all living creatures is also part of its mandate. Every year, the CSPCA finds homes for more than 10,000 animals, making it the shelter with the highest number of adoptions in Canada. To learn more, visit:


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