Time and care heals all wounds.
It’s been several weeks since Klassic Kennels, Alberta Animal Services and the Red Deer and District SPCA began caring for 76 dogs that were rescued from a rural property near Milk River.
The emaciated and dehydrated animals were part of the 201 dogs seized in the largest case of animal neglect in its history by the Alberta SPCA.
But now the dogs are showing new signs of life as they heal, put on weight and begin to trust people, say the three groups.
Some dogs have already moved into permanent or foster homes while others are still being nursed back to health or waiting for a new family.
Erica Coomber, Alberta Animal Services administrator, said significant resources have been put into the helping the dogs and the effort is paying off.
“They were all loving and trusting us,” said Coomber. “It was really fabulous to see. We have a great bunch of dogs … We have to keep adjusting their collars because they are gaining weight.”
The mix of large breed dogs include komodors, sheepdogs, malamutes, Irish wolf hounds and others.
Seventeen of the 22 dogs have been adopted from Alberta Animal Services. Two are in foster care while three more are waiting for homes at the adoption centre.
“We are so pleased how this whole situation panned out,” said Coomber. “We are just so happy that we were able to save all these dogs’ lives.”
Likewise Jim deBoon, owner of Klassic Kennels, said the dogs are all coming along nicely on all levels but they are taking extra time with them because of their history and medical conditions. Seven of the 14 dogs placed in Klassic Kennels’ care are now in new homes or about to make the move. deBoon said the support for the dogs from Central Alberta has been overwhelming.
“I’m sure it’s like that for all the agencies,” said deBoon. “The public is so eager to help out. We have such support in Central Alberta. We have one of the largest social media families. They show up in droves.”
The Red Deer and District SPCA took in 40 dogs in late-December. Some dogs have either been adopted or put in foster care. Specific numbers were not available.
Julie Brewster, Fund Development co-ordinator for the Red Deer and District SPCA, said while caring for the dogs has put a financial strain on the agency, they are happy to lend a hand.
“We were full before and we are over capacity with these dogs,” said Brewster. “Just caring for them on a day to day basis is expensive and all the vet bills on top of everything is an expense that we have incurred.”
The SPCA has room for 60 dogs in its building in north Red Deer. Brewster said some dogs had to be doubled up in kennels and three dogs are living in the grooming room.
“But a lot of the dogs have been fostered out so we are at a reasonable level,” said Brewster. “We still have three of the dogs in the grooming room. We still have dogs doubled up in kennels. Some of it is for their own comfort because if they are bonded, we don’t want to separate them and create anxiety.”
Brewster said the agency is currently looking after the dogs immediate and long-term health and behaviour needs.
“So when they are adopted they can go to the best possible home that they can find,” she said.
To find out more, visit Klassic Kennels on Facebook, Alberta Animal Services at www.albertaanimalservices.ca and the Red Deer and District SPCA at www.reddeerspca.com