Nine pet rescue groups, mostly in Central Alberta, have teamed up to help find homes for animals in their care as part of an online Share the Love campaign.
Lindsey Rutsch, social media manager with New Chapter Animal Rescue League, said she decided to reach out to other animal shelters leading up to Valentine’s Day to try and get more animals adopted, and the response was enthusiastic.
“I think this is a unique partnership,” said Rutsch, with the Red Deer rescue.
“We all need a little more kindness in this world, so we might as well do it together.”
Other participating organizations include Saving Grace Animal Society, of Alix; Hope Lives Here, of Red Deer and Edmonton; Fostering Hope Animal Rescue Foundation, of Red Deer; The ROAR Society, of Rocky Mountain House; Old MacDonald Kennels and Animal Services, of Ponoka; Wild Rose Humane Society, of Didsbury; Tsintah Siberian Husky Rescue, of Berwyn; and Prairie Pets, of Lethbridge.
Rutsch said adoptions have remained low since shelters started experiencing an influx of two-year-old dogs when the pandemic eased and people decided they no longer had time for the pets they got when COVID restrictions were in place.
Many of those dogs also developed behaviour issues while bored and lonely so they are staying longer in shelter or foster care for training.
“That makes an impact on everybody. If fosters are full, we can’t bring in any other animals,” she said, adding that New Chapter currently has 120 animals either in shelter or foster care.
She said breeders have continued to churn out too many animals and once they hit a certain age and can’t be sold, these unsocialized dogs also end up at shelters.
As part of the Share the Love campaign, rescue groups have identified pets that have been in their care the longest to hopefully find them a forever home. One dog with Hope Lives Here has been in care since the fall of 2022.
All the rescues are in need of support, volunteers and people to provide foster care.
Rutsch said the rescues will also be working together to help those searching for a pet find the right match by directing them to a fellow shelters that has the breed they want. The rescues have put competition aside for the good of the animals.
“It takes a village to do this and we all need the same thing right now.”
She said after only a few days, the online campaign has already been widely spread with the all the rescues sharing the posts. If the campaign gets results, there could be more in the future with even more participating organizations.
“Let’s all work together for the animals.”