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October 4 is World Animal Day, a global event celebrating animals big and small, from coast to coast and sea to sea around the world. Here in Canada, almost 30 per cent of households have a dog. They provide companionship, happiness and even therapy to their owners. But we still face a dark problem when choosing where to get our next dog -- puppy mills.
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The underlying sentiment is that our dog is going to die anyway so why not relieve ourselves of the discomfort and inconvenience. I have worked with animals and people for decades -- it is both my passion and my career -- so I was caught off-guard when I felt that subtle pressure from mainstream society to put my dog down and move on with life.
Unfortunately, right now animal shelters across Canada are preparing for what has become known as "kitten season." Unwanted litters of kittens being dumped at humane societies, SPCAs or even in the street or woods has joined April showers and red robins as harbingers of spring. In fact, thousands and thousands of cats and dogs are ending up in Canadian animal shelters every year!
Are things getting better or worse for animals in Canada? Here's a list, created by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, of animal welfare advances, setbacks, and issues that just made us shake our heads in sorrow in 2013.
Animals enhance our lives — they're loyal, offer comfort and companionship, and ask for little in return. But they too have needs and wants, and one of the most important needs is quality of life, say...