A local rescue that saves animals in dire circumstances from rural areas in Manitoba is hoping British Columbians can open up their homes and hearts to dogs in need — so it can save more dogs.
As the mercury drops and winter approaches, LEASH Animal Welfare Society says that dogs in remote communities in the Winnipeg-area are especially at risk. With temperatures falling below the zero mark, dogs that don’t have adequate food, water and shelter can easily perish.
“It’s getting cold and many dogs will freeze and/or starve to death as a result,” LEASH’s Cassi MacDonald says.
The seven-day forecast for the Winnipeg region and northern part of the province shows temperatures dipping down to -13°C, with lows of -30°C overnight.
LEASH regularly works with rescue groups in the region, including Save A Dog Network Canada, to take in dogs that are abandoned, abused and otherwise left out in the cold. Those pups are then transported from Manitoba to British Columbia, where they can be re-homed.
But in order to do so, LEASH has to have foster families in place who can take the pups in, caring for them before their eventual adoption. It is making an urgent appeal to find more foster families in the Lower Mainland.
Loving and responsible foster homes that can care for animals before they go to their permanent homes are an extremely important piece of the puzzle for groups like LEASH that specialize in relocating and rehabilitating homeless pets. Fostering frees up space for the group to rescue another animal.
A loving foster home also helps nurture and socialize the animal before it is placed in a forever home.
The group provides all supplies needed to foster an animal, plus pays all associated vet costs. There’s also free doggy daycare at the LEASH Loft and Spa, if you’re in the Tri-Cities area.
The breeds and sizes of the dogs vary. There are some larger breed animals, but often puppies too.
If you can temporarily foster an animal, the group is asking animal lovers to fill out an online application form.
Requirements depend on the dog you’re taking in, but in general they’re looking for people who can commit to caring for it until a suitable forever home is found.
“A commitment to provide a loving home to the dog, a commitment to make yourself as available as possible in the event someone wishes to meet the dog, and a commitment to work with the dog in both good times and bad,” says the group’s FAQ about fostering.
Foster homes are an animal’s first landing point after shelters, or in this case, living on the street. Some have been abandoned — and others abused — so having past experience with dogs is helpful.
Although the group temperament tests the dogs before they are placed, the foster home is often an extension of that testing process — as foster families will observe and report on the dog’s behaviour.
You must be in the Lower Mainland in order to foster.