British Columbia’s International Animal Rescue will be severely affected by dog ​​bans from some countries

Alana Wood

On September 28, the federal government’s ban on dogs from countries considered high in rabies will go into effect until further notice.

These “commercial dogs” are those considered “intended for purposes such as gift/transfer to another person, resale, adoption, placement, breeding, display or exhibition and research “. according to the Canadian government.

Some businesses and organizations in BC that are in the business of getting these dogs off the streets of their home country and then finding them homes with grateful owners will have to go out of business and could end up going out of business.

Fur Bae is just one of those organizations that operate inside and outside of British Columbia. It is a voluntary non-profit organization that brings dogs from Qatar to the west coast.

In Qatar’s capital, Doha, there are many dogs in need of homes and Fur Bae co-founders Laura Elliott and Jenni Baynham recognized the symbiotic relationship they could build between Qatar and North America.

Qatar is a dangerous country for a dog – many of the animals Fur Bae tries to help have been victims of stoning, shootings and general abuse.

They started by simply bringing dogs to Vancouver, but have since expanded to also have representation and adoptable pets in Victoria, Montreal and Seattle.

However, with the upcoming dog trade ban, Fur Bae and many other international rescues will have to cease operations.

“What happens in Qatar is that dogs are taken from the streets into the shelter, for safety reasons,” said Lizzie Parrot, Fur Bae’s volunteer coordinator for Vancouver Island.

“The new ban is heartbreaking.”

“Rescuers like us will take the dogs from the shelter and find homes for them, whether that be foster homes to start with and then adoptive homes after that. So basically what’s happening with the ban is that no dogs can be removed from shelters. Which means these dogs will die or be killed.

In British Columbia and most of Canada, skunks, raccoons and bats are the main causes of rabies. Organizations like Fur Bae were struck with confusion when the United States banned commercial dogs for the same reason on June 10, 2022.

Since then, they knew there was a possibility that Canada would impose a similar ban on commercial dogs.

“We just wish that international rescues could have been consulted on the structure responsible,” Parrot told Victoria Buzz. “We would have been, as a rescue, more than happy to work with the CDC to make that happen.”

Parrot said that as an organization, Fur Bae wants to urge the CDC to work with the relief community on the process instead of the current blanket ban on animals from designated countries of which there are more than 100.

International rescues like Fur Bae fear that once the ban goes into effect and they can no longer meet the need for ethically-sourced dogs in safe homes, puppy mills will fill that void and won’t. with responsible practice or checks and balances.

“We have staff veterinary care to complete. They are fully vaccinated before their arrival. Um, we have behavioral trainers, we always provide free, free training to help dogs settle in,” Parrot said. “It’s a community.”

Fur Bae has found safe, compassionate homes for over 340 dogs from Qatar and shortly before the ban comes into effect on September 28, they are focused on finding safe accommodation as much as they can.

Currently, Fur Bae hasn’t had the difficult conversation about next steps as an organization. However, Parrot said they will eventually “help where it’s needed most”.

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