Hundreds of Dogs Saved from Commercial Breeding Facility in Quebec

puppy mill dog in crateTaking their first steps on solid ground for the very first time in their lives, 527 dogs are healing and learning to trust humans again. The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food seized the dogs in September 2011 and turned them over to HSI (Humane Society International/Canada) for care.

More than 30 breeds of dogs — from Chihuahuas to Great Danes — were housed inhumanely. Ranging in age from newborn pups to adult breeding dogs, they lived in unsanitary and unsafe conditions without enough food or water. Many were suffering from respiratory and skin problems when the government agency rescued them. Officials described the facility as the largest commercial dog-breeding operation in Canada.

PetSmart Charities™ of Canada responded with a $20,000 emergency grant to help HSI care for so many dogs. The group set up a temporary shelter in a vacant building, complete with kennels, dog runs, food, supplies and cleaning equipment. Dozens of volunteers, HSI staff, veterinarians, behaviourists and even dog groomers worked around the clock to help the dogs recover from their ordeal.

“This was a massive logistical challenge that would have been impossible to do without the generous support of PetSmart Charities of Canada,” says Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada. “Taking care of more than 500 dogs requires a lot of immediate resources that we couldn’t have provided without their support.”

In November 2011, the Quebec government won custody of all the dogs. While some of the dogs will have a longer road to health than others, all are destined to recover and be available for adoption, according to HSI. Meanwhile, the commercial breeders pled guilty to all 17 charges.

PetSmart Charities of Canada provides emergency grants to help animal welfare groups with the necessary resources to shelter and care for pets who are victims of disasters, emergencies, rescues and large-scale hoarding and abuse cases.


PetSmart Charities of Canada finds homes for nearly 20,000 cats and dogs each year. The newest member of your family could be just a click away.