Melanie Crehan is the president of Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

Misunderstanding at heart of issue after Sylvan Lake area dog, which had an owner, adopted out by rescue society

A pet rescue society is confident they will weather a recent controversy after a dog they had adopted out turned out to have a prior owner.

Melanie Crehan, president of Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society, said the accusation they steal animals is just false. The society’s Facebook page has been inundated with people accusing them of stealing animals and misusing donated funds.

Crehan developed a love for animals from an early age, she said her first words were the name of the family’s dog. On Feb. 1 2000, she started rescuing on the First Nations reserve she worked at and in December 2009, she started Serenity, a registered non-profit.

“Everything is 100 per cent to the animals,” said Crehan. “We’re supported by private donors and we fundraise like mad.”

She said they work diligently to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home dogs, cats and even a rabbit and a ferret at one point. They are taken to a vet first and foremost, because many need it.

Which is why she was so dismayed by the allegations levelled against the society on social media.

In June, the society had received a phone call from a home owner near Hwy 54 of a wet, frightened dog. Treating it like any other rescue they have over the years.

They had a vet look at it and set the dog up with a foster home, that was provided with food, a leash and harness and a home check was done. After it was fostered back to health, it was adopted out. Some of the posts to their Facebook page said a home check was not done and the dog’s foster had payed out of pocket for food.

However, the dog had an owner that was looking for it. Makenzie Jennings-Peppard said the dog had run away during a thunderstorm and they were worried about it. Crehan said they had adopted the animal out before they knew it had an original owner. The dog, Milo, was returned to the owner after discussions between them and the adopted owner.

Jennings-Peppard said the dog ran off on June 14 during a storm. She went looking for it, calling out its name but had believed it was gone. But on Tuesday, she discovered through a Facebook page that the dog had been found and was being fostered back to health.

There were heated exchanges through Facebook and a phone conversation that only made the situation worse.

Jennings-Peppard said the reason she was so upset was because when she tried to provide proof, she said she was blocked from the page and told to stop harassing them.

But Milo is now with Jennings-Peppard and Crehan is committed to providing pet rescue services for the Sylvan Lake area.

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