At least two dogs have died and numerous others were injured when a vehicle that was hauling dogs from California flipped on an Alberta highway.
RCMP Cpl. Mike Dunsmore says an SUV was hauling 30 dogs in a horse trailer on Saturday morning when it rolled on Highway 2 on its way to Edmonton.
Dunsmore says 20 of the dogs were taken to Olds College, which has a veterinary program.
He says several dogs got away and volunteers have been trying to track them down.
Dunsmore says the two volunteers in the SUV were treated in hospital for minor injuries and have since been released.
He says the dogs were destined for a shelter in Edmonton where they would eventually be adopted.
“I can only imagine what (the officers) were faced with when they responded to that scene,” Dunsmore said.
“They’re grateful for the assistance of bystanders and other motorists who stopped to lend assistance.”
Deanna Thompson of the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society said she and other volunteers who are based in Calgary raced to the scene about 75 kilometres north of the city when they got word of the accident.
Thompson said about two dozen volunteers, both with her group and students from Olds College, spent Saturday tracking down eight dogs that remained at large.
By Saturday evening, five had been caught.
“They’re really terrified as you can imagine, being involved in a car accident on a major highway. They’re hunkered down in the bushes, and it’s just really keen eyes, and gaining their trust enough, to be able to catch them,” Thompson said, speaking by cellphone from the highway.
Thompson said the dogs were being brought to Edmonton from Los Angeles by a Saskatchewan-based group called Adopt a Paw Pet Haven for a national adoption day in the city.
Some of the dogs already had homes lined up, she said.
Thompson said the dogs were in kennels inside the trailer but that the kennels broke during the crash.
No one from Adopt a Paw could be immediately reached for comment.
Police say neither speed, alcohol, road conditions nor weather played a role in the rollover.