British Columbia

California rescue dogs arrive to cheering and love in B.C.

Dogs set to be destroyed in California have been given a new 'lead' on life in British Columbia.

150 families wait in airplane hangar to pick out new pet

California rescue dogs arrive in B.C.

7 years ago
Duration 2:37
Residents welcome abandoned U.S. dogs with love and care

Dogs set to be destroyed in California have been given a new 'lead' on life in British Columbia.

The small to medium-sized animals, 121 of them, arrived by plane Saturday at YVR in Richmond to a crowd of cheering and animated B.C. residents all eager to claim one of the pets as their own.

"I don't know what kind of dog I want," said Cloverdale resident Madison Van Vliet before the dogs arrived. "Does it really matter? No. Just one to fall in love with."

The rescue of the animals was organized by Thank Dog I Am Out, which was founded by Susan Patterson in 2009.

This dog was one of 121 flown in from California to be adopted by residents in B.C. (Kirk Williams/CBC)

Patterson says more than 6,000 dogs are euthanized each week in California, but here in the Lower Mainland, there's a shortage of small to medium-sized dogs for adoption.

"The shelters are so overcrowded and so overwhelmed with the number of surrenders that they have no option but to euthanize them," she said.

The dogs were rescued, spayed and neutered and given their shots before they arrived, while those wanting to adopt were pre-approved, which included an inspection of their home to see if it was suitable.

They also weren't able to pick the dog they wanted by viewing photographs, but rather had to meet them face-to-face in Richmond to find a good match.

The flight for this rescue dog from Californian rescue dog may have been a bit too long. (Kirk Williams/CBC)

"These are great dogs that were going to meet an unfortunate end, but because of this are going to have a brand new home to go to," said Jake Giammarino a dog trainer with Discover Dogs.

Earlier this fall, the Capital Regional District in Victoria associated a spike in dog attacks with rescue dogs, arguing it's sometimes hard to identify behavioural problems in animals coming from out-of-province.

It recommends that would-be adopters turn to local shelters or the BCSPCA to rescue animals.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?