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SYDNEY, NS –
The Nova Scotia SPCA is calling for help from the public after 77 dogs were handed over to them from a home in Cape Breton on Monday.
Sandra Flemming, provincial director of animal care, said a third reached out to her at the SPCA.
“They felt there were a number of animals on the property and that the owner might need help,” she said.
The SPCA had known about it for a while and worked with the owner to deliver the animals. Ten of the 77 dogs were puppies. The animals all lived inside and outside the house, but everyone had access to get inside.
Miele, another of the 77 dogs and puppies, surrendered to the Nova Scotia SPCA on Monday from a Cape Breton home. NOVA SCOTIA SPCA
“When we were there and offered our help, he was ready to work with us and was very cooperative during the process,” added Flemming.
Flemming said they are not revealing the specific Cape Breton area to ensure the owner is not singled out. She said the owner is doing the best he can with the resources he has. There has not been a dog that was significantly underweight or had health problems that it previously had to address.
“In this case, it wasn’t cruelty, but someone who probably started with a handful of uncastrated, unpaid men and women,” Flemming said. “What people don’t realize is how quickly that number can grow over time. Then things get out of control very quickly or the owners and they are not prepared for it. “
Flemming said they left a few dogs with the owner.
“They are being neutered and neutered and he is happy with it,” she added.
Dyson is one of 77 dogs and puppies handed over to the Nova Scotia SPCA on Monday from a Cape Breton home. The SPCA says rehabilitation and medical care for the animals will cost more than $ 70,000. NOVA SCOTIA SPCA
The dogs are currently distributed throughout the province. However, since they cannot accommodate all of them, an off-shelter area has been secured for around 35 dogs – a kind of warehouse that has been converted into a kennel – so that they can stay in a large group as they are used to.
Flemming said the biggest challenge with this number of dogs is that they have been raised in a pack, are semi-wild, and have very little socialization. If someone has a lot of dogs that live in a house with just a few people, those dogs start educating themselves once the numbers hit that scale, she said. Nobody has time to meet, stroke and handle 77 dogs a day. As later litters are born and grow up in this setting, she said that they raise themselves and are raised by other dogs, not so much by humans.
As a result, Flemming said the dogs are not used to people, wear collars and leashes, have never been in a car or seen no traffic.
“These animals never left the property, so they knew nothing about the physical environment in which they were born and raised.”
Flemming said it will take weeks or even months for the shelter’s staff and volunteers to get these dogs ready for adoption.
Where it was stressful for the dogs to be moved, the staff works slowly and quietly and currently allows them to feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
Flemming sat on the floor with about a dozen, handing out treats all day. In the beginning, they make any experience with new people around them positive and stress-free, she said. The staff doesn’t push the dogs to do things they don’t want to do and give them plenty of free time together.
“It’s about having good experiences in their new surroundings and in new people around them,” she said. “From there, trust builds and we can transfer it to other situations.”
They hope that in a week or two when the dogs settle in their new environment, volunteers can be brought in so the dogs can continue to get used to new people sitting and patting them or walking by.
Oreck, who was removed from an estate in Cape Breton on Monday by the Nova Scotia SPCA along with 76 other dogs and puppies. The SPCA says the dogs are semi-wild, under-socialized and it will be weeks – if not months – before they are ready for adoption. NOVA SCOTIA SPCA
HOW CAN YOU HELP
It is estimated that rehabilitation and medical treatment for these dogs will exceed $ 70,000. The SPCA does not receive any government funding. Flemming said the best way people can help right now is to either donate at www.novascotiaspca.ca/helpnow or write SPCA at 4-10-10 to donate $ 20 that is just for theirs would be added to the next phone bill.
The SPCA will provide updates when dogs are available for adoption. The dogs are not suitable for all homes and require calmer attitudes, much like they have experienced in their past.
Flemming also said they appeal to people not to wait when they are overwhelmed by cats or dogs or other pets to reach them since they are there to help.
Flemming said it would rather have someone with seven dogs call for help before it turns 77 as it puts a huge drain on their resources trying to deal with numbers like that.
“Please reach out, please don’t wait until you have that many cats or dogs on your property,” she said. “We’re not here to shame people, we’re here to help.”
If you or a pet owner you know has problems, contact the Nova Scotia SPCA at 1-844-835-4798.
Sharon-Montgomery-Dupe is a health and news reporter for the Cape Breton Post.