In addition to taking in locally surrendered pups, did you know that we help dogs in high kill shelters in California? We do! We've been doing so ever since our very first flight in January 2010. It's how we got the name "CaliCan" - California Canada!
Helping the dogs from California has always been a subject of taboo ever since we started. We'd like to clear up some misconceptions since we've noticed the subject has hit the media recently.
Here are some facts we are happy to share:
We only bring up small breed dogs. Alberta has a problem with medium to large breed strays, so we never wanted to add to the problem. Finding a small breed dog has always been tough in Alberta, unless you went to the pet store (typically from puppy mills), breeders (note, not all breeders are bad) or through private sale.
We bring up 7 dogs on average of every six weeks. All small breed, all over 10 months old, all 30 lbs and under.
Each California dog is fostered by our wonderful volunteer, Cheryl, for at least a month to give the dogs time to heal from spay/neuter and for quarantine just in case there any underlying illnesses.
All California dogs come fully vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, and tested for illnesses, ESPECIALLY heartworm. Since our very first flight, we have never had a dog bring up any illnesses.
We DO NOT fundraise a dime for dogs from California. Our adoption fees of $300 cover all of the costs involved in bringing the dogs to Alberta. This includes the flight and vet costs. The locally surrendered dogs we get are what we fundraise for as they usually come to us needing extensive vet care.
We work very closely with Canada Border Services Agency to ensure all of our paperwork is in order when we arrive from California. We not only adhere to what is required, but we go above and beyond what they ask for. This includes FULL vetting records for each dog crossing the border. We also do not want a dog bringing in any illnesses/viruses to our country. Our foster homes have other dogs and children that we do not want to put at risk.
We strongly believe a dog saved is a dog saved, no matter where the dog comes from. Human beings are the only living creature on Earth that divides things by borders.
We also agree that the rules for importing need to be more strict. We would be more than happy to work harder to make sure the right people are helping these dogs for the right reasons.
While it saddens us that this is still considered an issue for some, it will not stop us from trying our best to help these pups who come from high kill shelters. The area we target in California euthanize 60,000-80,000 dogs every year, majority being small breed dogs. We also work alongside many other local rescues who have no issue with what we do.
We hope this has answered any questions you may have had. If you would like to see the entire process that we go through, please check out the video below, done by Jake Bergen - Filmmaker a couple years ago.