Canada Long hours and full kennels: animal rescues contend with cold dogs

17:50  17 january  2020
17:50  17 january  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

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As the extreme cold continues across Alberta, animal rescues are struggling to keep up with demand.

"We're really full — like busting at the seams full," Terra MacLean, training coordinator with the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society, said Thursday.

SCARS has a network of foster homes and shelters in Athabasca and Busby, covering a wide swath of northern Alberta as far as Red Earth Creek.

"We have foster homes that don't normally foster this time of year that have stepped up to help out and intake at this time," she said.

On Tuesday, a convoy of vehicles and volunteers drove two-and-a-half hours to Frog and Onion lakes to pick up 27 dogs and four cats. While all the animals were strays, some did not appreciate the rescue, MacLean said.

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"Most of them are scared and timid," she said. "They don't know what's happening and you're outside on your hands and knees in -40 C trying to coax them to you or trying to corral them in a crate because they don't know that you're offering love and warmth."

Zoe's Animal Rescue in Edmonton and the Edmonton Humane Society took some of the pack but the rest went to SCARS, MacLean said.

She said her volunteers are working longer hours and some have even taken days off work to help out.

It's a similar situation 300 kilometres south at the Saving Grace Animal Society, which runs a shelter in Alix and a farm sanctuary in Stettler.

"Our whole team is definitely working overtime trying to get as many animals through our program as we can and finding placement with other rescues that we can," said executive director Erin Deems.

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Golden Oldies Animal Rescue is an organisation that provides rescue for animals through our network of foster homes. We do not have a shelter or We want to see changes in these old dogs lives and we want to fight for a better future for all of these deserving old souls who have already given so much of

"We really don't want to turn anyone away at this point when the temperatures are so dramatic."

a dog sitting in the snow: SCARS and Saving Grace Animal Shelter also deliver straw to owners for their outdoor pets. Saving Grace executive director Erin Deems says duvets are unsuitable as dog sweat will turn the material to ice in cold conditions. SCARS and Saving Grace Animal Shelter also deliver straw to owners for their outdoor pets. Saving Grace executive director Erin Deems says duvets are unsuitable as dog sweat will turn the material to ice in cold conditions.

The society now has around 80 animals in care including foster homes, Deems said.

It is also offering a $100 discount on puppy adoptions, "in the hopes that maybe that'll entice people to come in and get these animals into homes so we can bring more out of the cold."

For In the Woods Animal Rescue, based south of Peace River, the situation is exacerbated by volunteers unable to help out because of long distances and weather conditions.

The work has fallen to staff like vice president Cheryl Bastien. The shelter took in 35 dogs in December, but have admitted almost as many in the first two weeks of January — many of which are puppies and pregnant females.

"Of course in these types of temperatures, that would just be a death sentence for them."

Cats Do Bond Securely to Their Humans - Maybe Even More So Than Dogs .
Many think of dogs as loyal, love-filled companions, and cats as cute beasts that tolerate us - but we might have to rethink that a little. This may not come as a huge surprise to those who live with cat companions, but it suggests two important things. Firstly, it looks like we've underestimated the depth of the bond cats can form with their people. Additionally, it shows that dogs don't have a monopoly on secure social bonding with Homo sapiens.

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