The BC SPCA has seen a marked increase in the number of puppies surrendered to its care this year. “We have had almost 350 puppies come into care so far, compared to 200 at this time last year,” says Eileen Drever, the BC SPCA’s senior officer for protection and stakeholder relations. Most recently, a breeder in Surrey surrendered 19 dogs (11 eight-day-old yellow Labrador retrievers, three 10-week-old border collie-cross puppies and five adult retriever mixes) to the BC SPCA’s care – an example of the ongoing influx of puppies from breeders and other sources.”
Drever says many of the puppies coming into SPCA care are from individuals who turned to breeding to make money during the COVID pandemic when the demand for pets was high, but who are now are overwhelmed with the costs of caring for animals as the market for their puppies has decreased.
“In the recent intake of puppies, they tested positive for roundworm and giardia, which we are currently treating,” says Drever. She notes that the surrender of large numbers of puppies places increased strain on the BC SPCA’s resources. “Although puppies do tend to get adopted more quickly than adult dogs, puppies and their moms require a huge commitment of time and energy from the BC SPCA’s foster volunteers,” says Drever. “Moms and their puppies require round-the-clock care until the puppies are weaned. The puppies also need to be house-trained and socialized.”
Drever doesn’t see the influx slowing down anytime soon. “There are just too many people who still think this is a good way to earn quick money and don’t understand the amount of care required and the costs involved,” says Drever. “That is why we encourage everyone to make sure they are getting their dogs from reputable breeders. Or better still, adopt a dog from the BC SPCA or a rescue organization with a good reputation.”