DARTMOUTH — She calls them "the Georgia 12."
Leah Parsons brought 12 dogs across the border to save them from being euthanized by overloaded and overwhelmed animal shelters in the United States.
Parsons runs the East Coast German Shepherd Rescue from her home in Dartmouth. She says German shepherds are a misunderstood breed, and for 3 1/2 years, she’s dealt with local
German shepherds that have been mistreated or end up homeless.
She says she’s found homes for over 100 of them. But this is the first time she’s brought dogs into the country.
Parsons says the situation for dogs is dire in Georgia, and the only way to keep many of them from death is to move them.
"For some reason, (the shelters are) just overflowing," said Parsons. "They can’t keep up."
Joan Sammond, the director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Georgia, says that in just the Atlanta metropolitan area, more than 90,000 healthy animals are euthanized each year. The euthanasia rate is higher in rural areas. And it’s getting worse because of the economic situation.
Donations to the SPCA have dwindled and foundations aren’t granting them as much money. People are losing their homes and giving up their pets.
"The inflow of animals has increased, but the amount of donations has not," said Sammond.
To bring so many dogs into Canada, Parsons had help from volunteers to transport the dogs, in several trips, and to take care of them when they got here. In an effort to save as many dogs as
possible, five of the Georgia dogs weren’t German shepherds.
Parsons says she has room for the dogs because dog problems are modest in Halifax Regional Municipality.
"We don’t have a huge overpopulation of dogs. The metro shelter is really good at moving dogs out of the shelter into homes."
The Georgia dogs are up for adoption on the East Coast German Shepherd Rescue website, www.nsgsrescue.com. Four of the dogs have been adopted so far, but Parsons says there are more dogs on the way.