Photo Right: Bones was near death when he showed up on a doorstep. The homeowners called us for help and luckily we had space to take him in. He is completely emaciated and has to gain weight before he can even be given a vaccination.
Most of our rescue work is carried out by volunteers who open up their hearts to animals in distress or need. Rescue can be overwhelming, both emotionally and financially. We do our best but our resources, and available space, are limited. As a volunteer run organization with limited resources, sometimes we cannot help. We do our best.
All animals that come into the shelter are vet checked, spayed or neutered and have a behavioural assessment before they are rehomed. We operate on the basis of full disclosure. However, due to the nature of animal rescue we often do not know the animals background or history.
If you see a dog in distress or in an abusive situation, please alert your town or community Bylaw Officer first of all. The NWAS does not have legal rights to seize an animal. If you see a stray or homeless dog contact the Bylaw Officer. If you do not have access to a Bylaw Officer and you live in the Regional District please contact the RCMP.
Highly stressed animals may be fearful or aggressive and can bite. Please be careful.
If you pick up a stray animal, please be prepared to keep the animal safe for a time. Contacting the local radio station lost and found, posting a picture on social media, contacting neighbours, will often find the pet guardians before getting the shelter involved. We are volunteer run and often cannot help quickly, arrangements must be made to take in a found animal.
Rescued dogs and cats come in all shapes and sizes, purebred and mixed-breed, young puppies and senior dogs, high-energy and laid back pooches. They all have one thing in common: they want and desperately need a second chance, a new and loving family to take them in and give them a place they can truly call "home".
If you are looking for a specific breed and we do not have what you are looking for, try a search onwww.petfinder.com. All BC rescues post their adoptable animals on Petfinder so another rescue may have the specific breed you are looking for.
There are several puppy mills operating in this area. Please make sure you are aware of where your new dog is coming from. The 'cute' factor may be overwhelming, but puppy mill dogs are notoriously unhealthy, not to mention that 'cute' puppies are being churned out for profit with little regard to the mothers.
Why are there so many dogs and cats?
There are many, many reasons why dogs and cats end up homeless.
Sometimes people buy a puppy or kitten without thinking it through. The puppy suddenly and unexpectedly grows into a large dog and simply is too big to handle.
Sometimes people's circumstances change, they need to move to an apartment where pets are not welcome,
could be a divorce situation where neither parent feels they can take the animal, a pet owner can fall ill and finds himself or herself unable to properly care for their pets.
Sometimes the reason is far more inhumane, where a dog or cat has been abused or abandoned.
The main reason is lack of spaying and neutering which produces dozens and dozens of unwanted litters and not enough homes. Spaying and neutering is the only thing that will stop overpopulation. The more people refuse to fix their animals, the higher the incidence of unwanted litters.
Another reason there are so many animals in shelters is that many people who are looking for the perfect family pet don't consider a shelter or rescue organization as a place to find one. Unfortunately, many people believe that by adopting a rescue animal, they are going to end up with a dog with too many problems. This is a misconception. Any dog can be a problem dog based on lack of training, misunderstanding of the breed, boredom, lack of exercise etc.
Here are some guidelines and questions that you should follow before you choose a dog:
- What is the dog's history? Was the dog found as a stray, turned in by his/her owner, a rescue or abused?
- While most dogs will be able to re-adjust to a new home without any major problems, for some it will take more time. Our volunteers will thoroughly discuss our observations of the dogs behaviour and temperament with you
- Choose the dog that's right for you.
- A high-energy dog may not be best suited for a senior citizen, likewise, a very quiet older dog may not be the best choice in a home with young children.
- Learn more about breeds and what would be a good fit for your lifestyle.
Do consider an adult or older dog. Puppies are adorable and cuddly and easy to love.
But you'll need to go through the terrible puppy chewing stages, the housebreaking, the constant training — it's a lot of work. In the end of course, you'll have a wonderful mature friend by your side. However, adopting an adult dog from a shelter means he or she has already gone through puppyhood, his or her temperament has already been established, and it's easier to spot an easy-going, well socialized adult dog than a puppy who still needs all the training.
- How is the dog with kids and other animals? (If you do have kids or other pets, make sure to tell the shelter staff that you want a dog that is good with children and other pets.)
- Can you afford the care and expense of an animal?
How much will that dog really cost?
In the end, whether you choose a puppy, an adult, or a senior dog, from a shelter or rescue organization, the bottom line is: This dog will become a member of your family. He or she will always be there for you with unconditional love. He or she will enter your home and become a part of it. All we can ask of you is that you are prepared to make that a lifetime commitment and be completely sure about your decision.