The short story: a blind dog was imported from Iran. Upon arrival, it was found to have (probably among other things) leishmaniasis, a concerning parasitic disease that we’re seeing occasionally in imported dogs. Leishmaniasis is nasty, hard to treat, expensive to manage and there are concerns about whether these dogs could pose a risk to people (i.e. due to disease transmission). Dogs are the main reservoir of the parasite (Leishmania spp.) in many regions, and people become infected when sandflies bite an infected dog, then later bite a person. We don’t have those sandflies in Canada, but we can’t be certain that there are no other biting insects that could transmit Leishmania. It’s probably a low risk but it’s an unnecessary one.
Back to the dog from Iran: Now, the adoption fell through and the foster home won’t keep him because of his health problems, so there’s a search on for donations and someone willing to adopt a blind, sick dog that will require long-term and expensive veterinary care, probably with a poor prognosis.
I wonder how much time, effort and money was put into bringing this dog from Iran to Canada, and the stress that the dog endured through a very long trip (alone in the cargo hold of a plane), probably to ultimately be euthanized. Yes, in some ways it’s nice that the dog was given a chance, but it should have been pretty obvious that this wasn’t a good idea and wasn’t going to end well.There are finite resources to care for animals, and investments of time and money such as this don’t make sense to me.
While these are approached with good intentions, the lack of health screening by some of these "rescue" groups, combined with our completely lax canine importation requirements allow situations like this to occur.
Check out the kijiji ad for more details.