Fourteen dogs will eventually be placed in new homes on Prince Edward Island after being surrendered from a property in Cape Breton.
The Nova Scotia SPCA visited the property after hearing concerns from a third party, says Sandra Flemming, director of animal care for the group.
When officers visited the property they found an "enormous" amount of dogs. They spoke with the owner and offered to help, to which they agreed, Flemming said.
In all, 77 dogs were surrendered to the SPCA. Although the dogs were relatively healthy, because of the number of dogs, Flemming said, they were basically raising themselves.
"The biggest concern and challenge that we knew we were going to have and that we're kind of experiencing now is the socialization of the dogs," she said.
"Usually when people get to a point where they've lost control of the population, a lot of those animals start being born in the environment and aren't being socialized properly."
Flemming said socializing dogs early in their lives is important, and these particular pups missed out on that. Some dogs will need more time before they're adopted, and others may catch on quickly.
Either way, "the lack of socialization really is the biggest challenge to get them into homes and get them adopted," she said.
P.E.I. offers to help Nova Scotia
When the P.E.I. Humane Society heard that the SPCA had brought in 77 dogs, it offered to help out.
Before the SPCA could move dogs, staff spent time learning about them and gauging where they were in their development.
Flemming said they didn't want to move dogs anywhere before understanding more about the animals, including for example, whatever genetic or temperament issues they may have.
"To download that onto another organization right off the bat we didn't feel wouldn't be appropriate, and we just kind of wanted to get them in our facility ... assess them with senior staff and see what we had," she said.
After learning about the dogs and speaking with the P.E.I. Humane Society, Flemming said they were comfortable moving some of the dogs to the Island.
"You have that many dogs, and limited staff, and our inability to have volunteers help us like we'd done in the past, it just made me think that this is the time to take that assistance and to work with them," she said.
'This is just their next chapter'
Nova Scotia and P.E.I. governments approved the transfer and early on Tuesday a staff member with the Nova Scotia SPCA drove the 14 dogs over.
They're mixed-breed dogs. Some short-haired, some long. Some shorter, others taller. They're a "motley crew" but they're very sweet, Flemming said.
In a Facebook post on Thursday morning, the SPCA detailed the story thanking supporters and the P.E.I. Humane Society.
"The 14 dogs had a wonder-fur trip to Prince Edward Island, although they had mixed reviews on the driver singing Bud the Spud," it said.
"This is just their next chapter in their journey to a happily ever after. We are so proud to work together, while staying safely apart, to help these dogs and pups live their best lives."
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