Puppy Mills = Puppy Cruelty

by Humane Canada
Puppy Mills = Puppy Cruelty

Humane Canada created the following recommendations as a guide to action that can be taken to create a more humane Canada.  With a federal election underway in Canada we are working to ensure that the next government has these issues on their radar and that we will have a plan for action once the government is elected.

Instrumental to creating a humane Canada is federal legislation that protects animals from cruelty and provides a framework to ensure animals are treated humanely and with respect. In many areas, our laws are significantly out of date, and lag behind the international community. When Canadians are polled on these issues, there is overwhelming support for taking action to treat animals more humanely. Support for treating animals humanely is particularly strong among millennials and younger Canadians.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Ensure that all reporting and tracking systems integrate animal cruelty including the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System and the Major Case Management system.
  • Create an Animal Cruelty Offender Database so that offences and offenders can be tracked.
  • Fund mandatory training for Justice stakeholders to entrench knowledge of animal welfare and the Violence Link into the system.
  • Ensure that animal issues are tracked by Statistics Canada including information about companion animals in Canadian households and co-occurrence of animal abuse and interpersonal violence.
  • Commit funding to a national humane education strategy so that every child and youth is provided the education and training they need to develop respect, empathy and compassion toward human and nonhuman animals and thereby to value the interests of others.
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As a donor who has helped make a difference in our work we wanted to share with you a new project that promises to help change the landscape for our companion animals.

Animals are caught in a cycle of violence with women and children. Perpetrators neglect, harm, or kill pets to control their human victims. But the system doesn't recognize the link so women with pets endure abuse longer, children step in to protect pets and families are forced to stay in the violence or surrender pets to get to safety. We will provide education and training to social and legal services on links between human-animal violence with new tools to protect animals and people together.

Challenge

Women, children and animals are inextricably linked in cycles of violence including domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and violent serial crime. 89% of women in shelters report the perpetrator abused their pet, 100% of serial predators commit acts of animal cruelty and 47% of women delay leaving an abuser because they can't take their pets. But the system treats animal cruelty as a minor social ill addressed in isolation leaving animals and people vulnerable to greater victimization.

Solution

CFHS will form the first national task force dedicated to building a social safety net that includes animals, supports people with pets and ensures women can flee violence with their pets at their sides. CFHS will design and deliver training modules addressing the links between human violence and animal violence for people working in child protection, domestic violence prevention, enforcement and legal services with specific tools and tactics for recognizing and addressing the link their work.

Long-Term Impact

We will offer ground breaking education and training to 144 police forces in Canada, the 627 women's shelters, ending violence professionals and social workers, veterinarians, crown prosecutors and all animal welfare agencies, directly assisting the more than 3,900 women in shelters annually who own pets flee violence sooner and keep their pets with them. No animal will be left behind to suffer in harms way of an abuser and no woman has to return to an abuser to protect her pet.

Click here to support this work and ensure no animal is left behind!

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On October 5th at 6:35 p.m. 198 of Canada`s elected federal representatives voted down the first significant changes to the animal welfare laws since 1892.    Bill C-246 known as the Modernizing Animal Protection would have helped bring Canada’s animal welfare laws into the 21st century and now we have to start over.   It would have closed loopholes that more often than not, allow the raising and breeding of dogs in substandard breeding operations.   This results in terrible suffering for dogs being bred, as well as poor health, welfare, and socialization of the puppies produced, which may lead to their relinquishment and euthanasia.

We fought hard for Bill C-246, which would have kept puppy mill owners from being convicted in one province and moving across the border to start their operations again, protected animals from sexual abuse and shut down dog fighting rings. This bill would have brought Canada’s animal cruelty laws into the 21st century but now we have to start over.

I am so disappointed.  I sat in the public gallery last night and watched and I want to let you know it strengthened my resolve to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves and fight even harder to change these laws but I can’t do this work without you in our corner.  Humane societies and SPCAs across Canada investigate an estimated 103,000 animal cruelty complaints each year and this can`t continue.

Thanks to you and your continued donations, there is a silver lining.  While Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, was defeated by the House in September, Canadians spoke loudly in support of improving our outdated animal protection laws and an issue that was not on our government's agenda is now front and centre, thanks to the incredible outreach efforts of compassionate Canadians of all political stripes. 

I am now meeting with the Justice Minister’s office about their promise to consult the Canadian public

and review the animal cruelty provisions in Canada’s Criminal Code to make it easier to convict those who wilfully neglect animals in puppy mills and advocating for a new clause that will see dogs seized in puppy mill cases moved to their forever homes quickly.  In some provinces dogs and puppies seized under the criminal code have to be kept in care until the case is resolved which means they can be kept for years in what amounts to a massive warehouse, as a case winds its way through the criminal justice system.

In this past year we have consulted with those working in the area of puppy mills and

developed a methodology and strategy for the collection of the data needed. Our strategy includes raising the profile of the issue and advocating for meaningful action on the part of all relevant authorities. Our members can use the report to approach decision-makers to advocate for stronger legislation and other solutions or tools to prevent the unethical sourcing of dogs.      

Where your donation plays an important role is by providing solid data identifying the scope and scale of the problem, outlining the challenges in protecting puppy mill dogs and identifying solutions.

This report would be a comprehensive reference document about substandard breeding in Canada, including:

  • the animal welfare issues and costs to society
  • relevant legislation, regulations and standards
  • current tools and solutions being used
  • a first estimate of the scale of substandard breeding operations in Canada
  • recommendations for decision-makers 

Better regulation of breeding operations and practices is needed, as are resources for enforcement. Advocating for improvements to regulation and resources will require evidence and strong arguments to sway decision-makers. An investigation of the scale of online puppy sales in Canada would provide a first estimate of the number of irresponsible breeders in Canada as a step towards identifying the scale of the issue and the number of animals implicated.

Your donation today allows us to keep working towards eliminating puppy mills from Canada.

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Another puppy mill has been found and shut down in Canada in the city of Windsor, Ontario.  Charges of animal abuses are pending against the person who kept the mothers in disgusting conditions and who abandoned the dogs around the city rather than have them found during an investigation. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/puppy-mill-windsor-1.3632312 

Thanks to your donations CFHS is working hard to ensure that Canada’s outdated animal welfare laws are changed to ensure that these abusers can be charged and that they cannot move from province to province and set up new shops.   This however is only one part of the work we must do.

The raising and breeding of dogs in substandard breeding operations results in terrible suffering for dogs being bred, as well as poor health, welfare, and socialization of the puppies produced, which may lead to their relinquishment and euthanasia. When animals are seized from a puppy mill, animal welfare and enforcement organizations invest tremendous resources for rehabilitation and rehoming. Dog breeding remains under-regulated, if not unregulated, throughout Canada.

Our goal is to create a report that will explore the scope and scale of the problem, consider the challenges in protecting puppy mill dogs, and identify solutions.

This report would be a comprehensive reference document about substandard breeding in Canada, including:

  • the animal welfare issues and costs to society
  • relevant legislation, regulations and standards
  • current tools and solutions being used
  • a first estimate of the scale of substandard breeding operations in Canada
  • recommendations for decision-makers 

Why is your continued support necessary for this project?   We have not hit our funding goal and as a result we have not been able to make the progress we need to make in this area.    This report will inform the development of a strategy on puppy mills that will include raising the profile of the issue and advocating for meaningful action on the part of all relevant authorities. Our members can use the report to approach decision-makers to advocate for stronger legislation and other solutions/tools to prevent the unethical sourcing of dogs.

Better regulation of breeding operations and practices is needed, as are resources for enforcement. Advocating for improvements to regulation and resources will require evidence and strong arguments to sway decision-makers. An investigation of the scale of online puppy sales in Canada would provide a first estimate of the number of irresponsible breeders in Canada as a step towards identifying the scale of the issue and the number of animals implicated.

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Milk River
Milk River

Your support is paying off and while it may seem like a slow process we are making changes that will have lasting impact on animal welfare in Canada and allow us to shut down puppy mills and charge their owners, ensuring they can no longer cross provincial boundaries and set up new operations where they continue to abuse animals. 

But to finally be able to do this we have to find out just what we are dealing with!   Puppy Mill owners hide behind ads on line and in papers and move from province to province after being found and charged so that they can continue their operations.   The support we've received so far has helped us build a framework for a report that will establish the extent of the problem.  We know what we have to do and what information we need to collect but now we need to be able to bring someone in house to be able to do the research so we can produce this much needed report!   

The report is one step but while creating this report we need to work to get changes to Canada’s animal welfare laws so that we can ensure once these puppy millls are found, we can maximum penalties for abusers and shut them down permanently. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies has been working hard to press to modernize Canada’s outdated and inadequate animal welfare laws.   We can report to you that this work has reached a critical point.

On February 25, 2016 MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith brought a bill to the floor of the House of Commons that will ensure those who abuse or hurt animals get the maximum sentence possible and that all animals have a humane life and death.   Bill C-246 is an opportunity that we must act on now!  

Already fellow MP’s and special interest groups are publicly making comments that are designed to cloud the issue and confuse the public.   Instead of focusing on making an animal’s life worth living they are focusing on interpretations and future unintended consequences of giving animals protection. 

The CFHS is taking a leadership role in not only advocating for this bill to pass on Parliament Hill but in educating Canadians on how to show their support and what this bill really means.

Modernizing the Criminal Code of Canada is long overdue and it is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure those who abuse or hurt animals get the maximum sentence possible and that all animals have a humane life and death.

What does Bill C-246 do for animals? 

  • It creates a gross negligence offence for animal cruelty making it easier to prosecute cases such as deplorable puppy mill conditions, where it can be difficult to provide that the owners wilfully intended to neglect the animals or cause harm.
  • It closes loopholes making it illegal to breed or train animals to fight
  • It stops people from profiting from animal fighting
  • It creates a new offence for killing an animal “brutally or viciously” regardless of whether the animal dies immediately.   You’ve heard in the news about the case of the owner who killed his dog with a baseball bat and was acquitted by the judge because the dog died immediately without suffering.  This provision closes that loophole.
  • It increases the penalty for repeat animal cruelty offences and it lets judges ban abusers from owning an animal for life!

Your support has helped us get to this point and has brought us one step closer to being able to make lasting change to end puppy mills in Canada!     We know that it will take a few years to make this change happen and we will need your continued support but we will end the cruel conditions that breeding dogs are forced to endure!   Your continued support will allow us to work with our members, Humane Societies and SPCA's across Canada to ensure puppy mills are shut down and their owners charged and prosecuted successfully.

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Organization Information

Humane Canada

Location: Ottawa, ON - Canada
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @humanecanada
Project Leader:
Derek Rumboldt-deLouché
Director Resource Development & Member Services
Ottawa, ON Canada

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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