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People sometimes wonder why rescues and shelters in Toronto go to the trouble of importing dogs from Quebec to adopt out here.

Two reasons:

1. The people of Toronto are pretty good about how we treat our dogs (relative to other cities, we're actually pretty great). While there are the occasional horror stories that pop up in the news and systemic injustices like the Ontario Pit Bull ban which we have to suffer with, people don't generally abandon their dogs here. We are, for the most part, responsible pet owners.

Torontonians are also pretty good about adopting. The more adopters, the better, of course, but relatively speaking, we're doing okay and we're getting better. Adoptions are going up as public awareness increases about the quality of shelter animals and the cost savings associated with adopting vs. buying.

Responsible pet ownership and willingness to adopt means that sometimes, especially within the larger shelters and rescues, there's space available to take in animals from other jurisdictions. If there's an empty kennel, it only makes sense to use it to save a life.

2. Here's the other reason. The following is a video clip from an upcoming CBC news show, Enquête, on Berger Blanc, one of the many private pounds in Montreal. It's graphic, it's sickening and many people involved in Montreal rescues know this is happening but have been powerless to do anything about it.

The full episode will air on CBC this Thursday at 8 p.m. on Enquête which is in French. It will also be available on-line on the CBC site after the broadcast.

More on Berger Blanc here.

8 Comments to “Dying at Berger Blanc”

  1. Lynda says:

    Awful footage. How is this happening in CANADA??? HOW?????

  2. mel says:

    How? Because QC has horrific laws when it comes to animal welfare, and Canada, as a whole, has very very outdated animal cruelty laws.

    All of my fosters have been from Quebec, and my next foster(s) will be arriving from a Quebec puppymill in the next couple of weeks. That's just how it is.

    On the plus side.. Ontario is pretty freaking fantastic when it comes to adoption. My fosters have sat in a QC for months, waiting to be adopted. As soon as they arrive in Ottawa, they're adopted within weeks. Ontario is doing something right, at least.

  3. Deva says:

    I am a coward, so I will not be watching the report. I have heard that Quebec's laws are terrible, and Canada's laws need a major update - something I have been raising with my local candidates for years now, to no effect.

    WSPA has asked the main parties what their positions are on anti-cruelty legislation - the site is here:

  4. Johanne says:

    thank you for your comments now we must act
    if you have any contacts in the media to show them what is going on in Quebec that would be wonderful
    with this report more dogs will need to be adopted via TAS
    so once the transports are organized please tell your contacts

    talk about it on blogs what is going on but Berger Blanc is just a symptom of what is considered acceptable in our province
    most private for profit pound most probably works in the same way

    this has to stop

  5. Biscuit says:

    This year I finally decided to learn how to drive, and it was mostly so I can eventually help out with transports. I'm so sick of this.

    (I go for my road test next week, and I have a gloomy feeling I'll fail it, but I'm going to keep trying until I pass.)

  6. Deva says:

    You won't fail. Just practise like all get out for the 5 days prior to the test. Good luck!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I got so fed up with the cities attitude as well, that I made a more honest version of the bergerblanc homepage. Check it out and tell other people as well.
    Here is the link.

    Tremblays new homepage is next if he does not break the contract with them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    sorry the correct link is

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.