Abused Quebec Dogs: Adoption Hopes Loom Large

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Animal community control officer, James Mclean holds onto Sira at the South Region Animal Centre. The centre runs an animal rescue shelter. Many of the animals (like this one) are stray dogs from Montreal that are resettled with families in TO, kind of a canine underground highway. | CP

MONTREAL - Homes are being sought for more than 600 dogs found living in squalid and inhumane conditions two months ago.

The dogs were discovered in mid-September on a rural property in western Quebec.

The operation was described as the largest dog rescue in Canadian history.

The canines were living in poor conditions without sufficient food and water.

They range in age from puppies to fully grown dogs and different breeds are represented.

Humane Society International/Canada will put the dogs up for adoption after reaching a deal with ANIMA-Quebec, a provincial government agency.

The discovery of the dogs was just the latest in a series of disturbing animal-abuse cases in Quebec that have made headlines in recent years.

The province has long been considered the puppy mill capital of North America, with an estimated 800 unregulated breeding operations in Montreal alone.

In August, nearly 40 malnourished huskies were found chained to trees on a property northwest of Montreal.

Reports in May of animal suffering at Montreal's privately held Berger Blanc pound also shocked many across the country.

Videos of cats and dogs suffering, as well as images of questionable euthanasia practices documented in a Radio-Canada report, prompted widespread criticism.

Quebec was named ''the best province to be an animal abuser'' in the 2011 annual report prepared by the U.S.-based Animal Legal Defence Fund.

For adoption information, go to www.hsicanada.ca/savedogs

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