The dreary weather was filled with a little bit of sunshine Saturday as more than 100 death row dogs from the U.S. arrived at Vancouver airport’s South Terminal to start their new life in British Columbia.
Plucked from Los Angeles area high-kill shelters by Vancouver rescue group Thank Dog I Am Out, volunteers offloaded the dogs one-by-one from the charter plane. They were checked over by customs officials and a veterinarian before meeting would-be adopters.
The event drew hundreds of animal lovers, and was both heartwarming and chaotic. Some pups, overwhelmed by the plane ride, the noise of the hangar and maybe even Vancouver’s cold weather – they are California dogs, after all – appeared anxious, but relaxed after hugs and spending time with doting volunteers.
Hundreds of pre-registered hopeful pet parents milled through rows of pens containing mostly small and mixed-breed dogs in hopes of finding their perfect pup. And many did. The lineup to finalize adoptions was long, and full of big smiles as people interacted with their new four-legged family members.
TDIAO did face hefty criticism ahead of the event, with some animal welfare groups saying U.S. dogs should not be imported into Canada, and that B.C. should focus on adopting local dogs first before others are brought in. But with many more interested applicants than dogs, organizers say the mass adoption was wildly successful and say another one could happen before Christmas.
Visit Thank Dog I Am Out for more information.