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BC SPCA pleads for dog owners to stop using shock collars

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Summary

The SPCA is asking dog owners to stop the use of shock collars

The group says the collars can be physically and emotionally painful

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The SPCA is out with a plea hoping dog owners will stop the use of shock collars.

Even though the collars may seem like an easy fix for behavioural issues, the SPCA warns there’s plenty of evidence about the harm shock collars can have on your dog.

“A lot of pet owners use shock collars as kind of an easy fix for problem behaviours and they’re not aware of the evidence out there of the harm that shock collars can do. We have lots of evidence that shock collars directly harm dogs,” adds Dr. Karen van Haaften with the SPCA.

“They cause pain and signs of fear in dogs, and long term they’re actually associated with poor behaviour outcomes, including increased rates of aggression, increased fear and anxiety-related behaviours.”

She says shock collars are widely available and knows many owners turn to them when other methods have failed.

“Behaviour problems in dogs can be really frustrating,” van Haaften adds. “I mean we absolutely understand — we’re all pet owners ourselves — how frustrating it can be to have a dog that’s not behaving the way you want it to be but we just want to get the message out there that there are better ways.”

The group is hoping dog owners will join the pledge against shock collars and turn to other tools when trying to solve their dog’s behavioural issues. Van Haaften says the most important thing is identifying what the problem is first.