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My Lacy

Each time we share a story about a rescue gone wrong, we are approached by others who have had similar experiences, with either the same “rescue” we wrote about or a different one. Most are afraid to come forward because of intimidation and threats. Typically these experiences are coming from a small handful of “rescues. The damage, heartache, fear and emotional and financial distress are significant in all cases. But with no regulations or systems of accountability, we haven’t been able to do much more than share these stories in hopes that people will hear the message and know what to look for when bringing a pet into their family.

We are working hard on your behalf, to develop rescue standards of practice an accreditation program so you can rest assured that the organization you want to adopt a pet from is ethical. In the meantime, please read and share the story of Lacy and her Mom.

My dog is a BEAUTIFUL dog. I love her to the moon and back. It was such an amazing moment when SHE chose me to be her fur-ever mommy. I sat on the floor and let all the dogs come to me and let me pet them, Lacy came up to me and rolled over and wouldn’t stop kissing me. I knew once she showed me her tummy and loved on me that she chose me, she trusted me to love her and protect her for the rest of her life. And that I will do.

Less than 2 weeks of having her I needed to rush her into an emergency vet for severe coughing and throwing up a ‘foamy’ substance. I was terrified that I did something to hurt my dog! They had to separate Lacy from the rest of the waiting room as she was an adopted dog from out of Canada and recently was around several dogs and with the adoption they didn’t know if she had kennel cough or not; Fair enough. They ran so many tests, x-rays, blood work you name it, they did it…..And we waited there for HOURS! To find out that she has megaesophagus and the coughing and the foamy substance was her having Aspiration Pneumonia due to the megaesophagus.

Megaesophagus is a generalized enlargement of the esophagus — a muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach — with a decreased to absent motility. Esophageal motility is required for moving food and liquid down to the stomach.

Lacy has a special eating regime that we MUST stick to or she will aspirate and that will cause pneumonia and she could essentially die due to this condition if we do not care for her properly. She has to have special food made up into “meat balls” so that it goes into her tummy rather than her lungs; she has to have her food while sitting upright, and has to sit upright after her meal for at least 20 minutes to make sure that it stays down and she can get the nutrition from the food. Usually you would use a Baileys Chair, but we can’t afford that AND all of her vet bills, so we had to compromise and make one with a basket and blankets. She has seen a specialist about the megaesophagus and that is where we found out what we can do to help her. Specialists are not cheap either. I would do anything for Lacy to make sure she has a happy and healthy life ahead of her.

Attached to this email are the papers I first got with Lacy- which would be just the boarder papers signed by the vet stating that she was vetted. That is all I got when I picked her up. I had to phone around to get: Spay Certificate, Shots Records, Rabies Tag which I NEVER got when I picked her up. I had to chase all of that down before I could even register her in Edmonton Alberta where I live. I drove to Chilliwack to pick her up.

She is not 2yrs old like the paperwork said and like I was told she was, she is closer to 7 yrs old and has had a few litters of puppies – which I was told she has had no puppies. My current vet has told me all of this as we have to have every 2 months check ups due to her megaesophagus – each visit is x-rays and blood work.

I showed [“rescue” operator] the paperwork stating that the dog was indeed very poorly and she did NOT care what so ever. I asked if she could give me half of the adoption fee back so I could pay for the vet bills and she was rather rude about it and told me off. She never did pay me anything for vet bills due to her selling me a VERY sick dog.

[The “rescue” operator] told me multiple times during my interaction with her and all of the dogs at her house when I went to meet the dogs she had brought back — there was 11 dogs plus a new mom and her litter AND her 2 dogs so 13 dogs plus a litter of puppies, she told me that the new dogs were vetted 3 times. Once was in California at the one shelter that she told me she rescued these dogs from as it was a high kill shelter, vetted at the border and once by her personal vet she takes her own animals to, and I guess the vet that she was spayed at; but I don’t consider that one really as they were spaying/neutering multiple animals rapidly as each dog was promised to people within the next few days. Not one of those vets caught that Lacy had megaesophagus or aspiration pneumonia; which leads me to believe that she was not truly vetted at all and the papers were just signed stating that Lacy was vetted so she could cross the border.

We share this story in Lacy’s Mom’s own words because it doesn’t seem like anyone is listening to the increasing number of people duped by dog traffickers operating under the guise of rescue. It is time this ends. It is time to hold them accountable.

In 2016, we formed the Animal Welfare Advisory Network of BC to enable organizations to work together and to support strategies around specific projects and initiatives associated with companion animal welfare. Through the network, we are drafting rescue standards of practice and thanks to ongoing support from the Vancouver Foundation, the standards will be followed by an accreditation program. To find out more visit

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