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CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — PEI CARES, a new Charlottetown organization, hopes to change the law and raise awareness about unethical dog breeding on the island.
The group was founded by Karla Shalley and Amanda Jackson and began operating on February 14, but due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Saturday marked its first event: a location at the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market where they worked to engage with the public.
When people think of unethical dog breeding, they picture stacked cages and blatant physical abuse, but there are other considerations too, said Karla Shalley, one of the group’s founders.
“Perhaps it’s not ethical that there are no contracts or that female dogs can be bred as many times as they want – every run. As long as you have money, you can have a puppy, you know?
The primary focus of PEI CARES (Canine Advocacy Resource Education Society) is education. To that end, her table at the Farmers Market had a sign with true or false questions, as a way for Shalley and volunteer Debbie Reid to engage people and start a conversation.
For two UPEI veterinary students, the conversation ended in two big surprises.
“I didn’t realize that no breeders should be allowed here,” Allison Kiker said. “I would at least think that if you sold that many puppies in a year, there would have to be some kind of regulation.”
And although breeders are not required to be licensed, dogs without a license, if lost and impounded, can be killed after five days if not claimed according to law. on dogs, section 15(1).
“It’s definitely not a positive feeling (to learn that). I wish they were registered because if they’re just trying to do it for the money then there’s nothing good about the welfare of the dogs,” said fellow student Rachel Friedland, who has added that she now wanted to try going to school. involved.
Requiring licenses for breeders is a key focus of the legislative change that PEI CARES wants to see, Shalley said.
“Hairdressers need a license and people who breed dogs don’t.”
Ways to recognize a responsible breeder:
- Dogs are registered with the Canadian Kennel Club or other registry recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.
- At least the mother is present at the kennel.
- Parents are tested for inherited breed-related health issues.
- The dogs are coupled at the end of growth and the females are not coupled at each heat.
- The breeder carefully chooses the families and asks questions about the hearth.
- The puppy will have received all the necessary health care before being housed.
- The breeder has a contract signed specifying the conditions of the sale.
- Puppies never leave the kennel for eight weeks, with 10 to 12 weeks being even better, especially for small breeds.
- The breeder sends the registration of the puppy no later than six months after the date of sale.
Source: PEI CARES Facebook page (from the Union des éleveurs canins du Québec)
While not against ethical breeders, the group recommends adopting whenever possible.
In Prince Edward Island this can be difficult as there are few dogs to adopt, but there is definitely demand when looking at sites like Kijiji where there were more ads looking for dogs than ads offering, she said.
“When there is demand, we want to give people the option of adoption, so they don’t have to come to Kijiji.”
Before moving to the island in 2018, Shalley ran a kennel and rescue operation in British Columbia. She estimates she rescued between 75 and 100 dogs in shelters across the US
Outside of PEI CARES, she tried to open a similar business on the island, but was unable to find a suitable location.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have continued to ease, the group can go out to meet people and raise awareness, as they did on Saturday.
PEI CARES will also be at the Farmers Market on Sept. 5 to change their minds, Shalley said.
“We understand everyone has their own opinion and we’re not going to change everyone’s opinion, but we’d just like to educate people so they know.”
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