Manitoba Underdogs Rescue has reported the rescue of four puppies that were found abandoned outside La Salle, Man. on March 22. The puppies were in extremely poor health, malnourished, covered in fleas and nearly frozen when they were discovered. Three of them were transferred to a foster home, but one was readmitted to the veterinary hospital due to weakness, lethargy, and low body temperature. The rescue suspects that a backyard breeder may be responsible for the abandonment, as it has encountered similar situations before. Jessica Hansen, the executive director of the MUR, stated that the organization is in crisis as they are currently over capacity, with 100-plus dogs in care and donations trending down. Manitoba RCMP has also stated that a person who abandons a pet could face animal cruelty and mischief charges, depending on the case.
Animal abandonment and cruelty are not unique to Manitoba, with many organizations around the world facing similar situations. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.5 million companion animals are abandoned every year in the US. Of these, 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. In the UK, the RSPCA received over 130,000 reports of animal cruelty in 2019, with many cases of abandonment reported as well. These numbers are staggering and emphasize the need for better regulation, education, and support for animal welfare organizations