Eight-month-old Nike is a newcomer to Canada from Oman.
“We were able to bring it to Canada with two other small wadis,” said Anne Hoekema, a volunteer with Extraordinary Galgos and Podencos.
Nike has already found a new life and a forever home with a family in Esquimalt. He and his sisters are lucky because life in Oman can be tough for dogs.
“What’s happening to these little wadis is quite horrific,” Hoekema said. “They are shot, they are beaten, they are left abandoned and many of them are starving.”
On Wednesday, the Canadian government banned the import of dogs from 100 countries, including Oman. The reason? These countries have a history of canine rabies. Canine rabies was eradicated in this country decades ago thanks to a successful vaccination program.
“Rabies is nearly 99 percent fatal if you don’t catch it before clinical symptoms,” said Dr. Adrian Walton, owner and chief veterinarian of Dewdney Animal Hospital in Maple Ridge.
Walton agrees with the ban. He says a lot of dogs come into the country that aren’t properly vaccinated against canine rabies.
“Some of the vaccines they use are not licensed for use against rabies here in Canada,” Walton said.
He cites the example of a dog owner who recently came to see him. This dog owner allowed him to share his information with CTV News.
The dog was vaccinated, but with a long-expired vaccine.
Penny Stone, executive director of the Victoria Humane Society, says every dog deserves a good life, no matter where they come from. She thinks the positive side of the ban is that more domestic dogs could find forever homes.
The Humane Society currently has over 100 dogs up for adoption. On Wednesday, workers were showing a new batch of puppies to a group of provincial government employees.
“Unfortunately with COVID the animals have not been neutered as they should have been in the remote communities we work in,” Stone said. “There are a lot of babies having babies.”
Stone estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of dogs in Canada in need of homes.
Back in Esquimalt, Nike managed to get out of Oman at the 11th hour. As of Wednesday, no more dogs will be allowed to enter Canada from this country.
As for the group Extraordinary Galgos and Podencos, it indicates that Spain is one of the few countries where the ban does not apply. The group says it will continue to bring dogs from that country to Canada.
Extraordinary Galgos and Podencos have been bringing Spanish Greyhounds to Canada since 2016.