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Airdrie animal rescue under fire for its practices

Last Updated Jun 30, 2020 at 9:24 am MDT

A photo of a god available for adoption at the EJ Rescue Centre in Airdrie on Feb. 15, 2020. CREDIT: EJ Rescue Canada, Facebook)

AIRDRIE (660 NEWS) – An animal rescue organization in Airdrie has come under the microscope.

The CBC reports former volunteers and foster families for EJ Rescue allege the organization failed to properly care for its animals, hoarded dogs, and used falsified information to bring animals across the border.

Earlier this year, the same organization was connected to a crash in Idaho that killed two people and 26 dogs heading to Alberta.

READ MORE: 2 people, 14 dogs killed in crash on Idaho interstate

660 NEWS reached out to EJ Rescue for comment and got the following response:

“At this time, we cannot comment as we are waiting legal advice as the article from CBC is filled with lies.”

660 News has also spoke with a woman who alleges she had issues after adopting a dog from EJ Rescue.

Erin – who didn’t want her last name used – says she adopted a dog in August 2019 and realized almost immediately the pet had behavioural problems that her family could not handle.

“I tried to return him within the first week in that grace period, and it wasn’t until October that I was able to get him returned,” she says.

Erin alleges they promised her a return of the $475 adoption fee but then ignored her when she tried to contact them on several occasions.

“They wouldn’t respond to my emails. They wouldn’t respond to my Facebook messages. My partner even tried Facebook messaging them as well to try and contact them, and they ended up blocking him.”

Eventually, she tracked down a doggie daycare linked to the rescue and left the pet there.

Additionally, 660 NEWS spoke to another person who adopted from EJ Rescue who had a good experience, getting plenty of advice before and after finding a match.

There is no regulation of the pet adoption industry, and Dan Kobe of the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) says they have very little power.

“We can only operate within the guidelines of the Animal Protection Act. That’s the legislation that guides us. What people hope we can do for animals or what we can enforce with animals is not necessarily the reality we face.”

He says they would need to receive a complaint about an animal being in distress to go onto private property, and then might still need a search warrant.
However, he says the Canadian humane societies are working on an accreditation process.

“In order to get their stamp of approval, we’ll say that you have to meet certain guidelines, so that’s a step in the right direction. But there’s nothing that requires any organization to do that.”

His advice is to do your homework and find out as much as possible about both the organization and the animal you intend to adopt. Ask to inspect their facilities before bringing the animal home.