B.C.’s dog rescue community knows no borders.
Every month, the Vancouver group Big and Small Rescue Society takes in unwanted puppies and dogs impounded at shelters in the Los Angeles area.
The area east of LA has a dog overpopulation problem, coupled with systemic poverty. It means lots of great dogs end up in shelter, and sadly, many don’t make it out.
For years, Big and Small has transported these dogs back to B.C. and found them new Canadian homes. Full disclosure: I adopted one of these dogs.
But now, the rescue has a special project, and his name is Kody.
This sweet German shepherd puppy ended up at the U.S. shelter with a broken leg after being hit by a car. Facing extensive surgery and rehab, not to mention more than $6,000 in vet bills, his future in California was bleak.
But now Kody is in foster care in Vancouver, awaiting surgery. He’ll be up for adoption once healed.
In this edition of Rescue Me, Big and Small describes why they cross the border to help dogs like Kody with special needs – and why they’re turning to crowdfunding to get this “sweet boy” back on his feet.
[In California] it is very hard to place damaged dogs locally or even with rescues because the vet bills are too daunting. The shelters are over-crowded. Dogs that are unadoptable or for whom there may be little rescue prospects are often euthanized. The shelter asked us to help Kody and we did.
We feel Kody was loved by his previous owners. He is such a kissable and gentle creature. Based on his friendly temperament, we don’t think he was mistreated in any way. He is still quite a goofy puppy. He loves a good belly rub. His notes from the shelter say only that he was a stray hit by a car. That is all we know.
For us, and for our compassionate B.C. dog community, saving a beautiful soul like Kody is what rescue is all about. Still, Kody is not a cheap dog to mend. Non-profit rescue societies are threadbare running vet care, transports, and spay/neuter programs. We rely on a combination of adoption fees, crowdfunding, fundraising events and compassionate pleas to help keep us able to help dogs in desperate need of vet care and to continue to operate.
According to Canada West Veterinarian Specialists, if they re-break and re-align Kody’s badly healed broken femur, he will be able to enjoy an active life. He is a young and curious fellow. We want him out there loving and enjoying life as soon as possible.
There are challenges in running a cross-border rescue. Transport is always onerous but we know the minute our dogs are officially made Canadian, their lives improve immeasurably. We vet our dogs immediately upon entering into Canada. They all receive a welcome package of medication and a thorough vet look-over. The real healing for these abandoned and terrified dogs is emotional. It comes when they enter into the homes and hearts of our amazing and loving foster community. The people of British Columbia are a very special group of humans. They care about animals, are responsible and always willing to help.
Crowdfunding is a critical part of exceptional fundraising for specific rescue dogs in need. It permits the community to focus on the medical and thus the financial needs of a specific dog like Kody. Donators can see the vet quote, the tally of the donations and this helps legitimize the fundraiser. It is transparent.