Abandoned dogs being found in ‘deplorable condition,’ Brampton warns

Click to play video: 'No pet left behind'
No pet left behind
WATCH - A Canadian non-profit is helping to keep pets with their owners amid an alarming increase in abandoned dogs. – Mar 29, 2024

Brampton is sounding the alarm after seeing a rise in abandoned dogs over the past few weeks.

In that time span, Brampton Animal Services said it has received multiple reports of abandoned dogs throughout the city, including multiple puppies.

“There are two active cases involving the abandonment of several dogs found in deplorable condition,” the city said Monday on its website.

“Brampton Animal Services has been diligently conducting searches for additional dogs.”

Brampton dog
An abandoned dog is seen in this undated photo attached to a news release put out by the City of Brampton related to dogs being abandoned in the city. City of Brampton/photo

For example, the city said on April 3, two abandoned puppies were found by a resident near Kennedy Road and Orenda Court, near Queen Street East. Animal Services conducted an extensive search of the area, and a resident later located another puppy.

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On April 5, five more dogs — a mother and four puppies — were found abandoned near Mississauga Road and Sandalwood Parkway.

Mike Mulick, manager of Brampton Animal Services, said abandoning pets not only endangers their lives, but undermines collective efforts for a safe community.

​“Pet ownership is both a privilege and a responsibility, offering companionship, love, and countless rewards,” he said in the release.

“I urge any pet owner faced with the difficult decision to rehome their pet to contact Brampton Animal Services for support and resources.”

Canadian pet rescues ‘begging for help’

Late last year, pet rescue organizations across Canada were raising concern about an influx of animals being abandoned.

Deanna Thompson, executive director of Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, told Global News in December there are some days when the organization is “begging for help.”

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“It’s like, at some point, it’s kind of falling on deaf ears,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Canadian pet rescue organizations overwhelmed by surge in pet abandonment'
Canadian pet rescue organizations overwhelmed by surge in pet abandonment

She said the number of animals in need far outweighs the capacity of both the shelter and the animal welfare industry as a whole.

Thompson added the rising cost of living has been a big contributor to the troubling trend within the animal welfare industry.

The price of pet food, grooming and medical care are all going up while wages stay roughly the same. Meanwhile, owners are also having to factor in their own expenses, such as groceries and rent.

Click to play video: 'More pets being abandoned due to inflation, says Montreal SPCA'
More pets being abandoned due to inflation, says Montreal SPCA

In Canada, the cost of owning a dog works out to an average of $460 to $3,140 per year, according to

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When it comes to the initial costs of ownership, found that dog owners typically spend between $1,395 and $4,270 up front. They also advise owners to budget between $2,060 and $5,600 for surprise costs.

The annual cost of owning a kitten is approximately $3,378 to $3,538 a year, according to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association.

Click to play video: 'Some Canadians abandoning pets due to financial pressures'
Some Canadians abandoning pets due to financial pressures

Thompson noted that the rising costs of veterinary care have been especially troubling for owners who have had to surrender their pets.

According to, a spay or neuter surgery for a dog can cost up to $1,500.

Is abandoning an animal a crime?

Abandoning an animal is considered a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada, but it has specific wording that means the act of abandonment itself does not necessarily lead to legal issues.

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According to the Criminal Code, an owner of a domestic animal, bird or “an animal or bird wild by nature that is in captivity” who abandons it “in distress” or willfully neglects or fails to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter and care for it could either face jail time of up to two years or a $5,000 fine.

They could also face imprisonment for no more than six months.

Click to play video: 'Canadian community to fine people who abandon animals, could other cities adopt similar bylaws?'
Canadian community to fine people who abandon animals, could other cities adopt similar bylaws?

Animal welfare lawyer Jennifer Friedman told Global News in February when it comes to the Criminal Code, resources for animal abandonment prosecutions can be hard to come by, especially in a strained justice system.

“Municipalities are taking it upon themselves to evaluate the situation and what they can do to be proactive for their constituents and how can their municipalities specifically address this problem,” she said.

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“(This) is becoming a huge issue for not just the animals who find themselves being abandoned, but members of the community who have to address this problem.”

— With files from Naomi Barghiel and Sean Previl

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