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Canine victims of the recession
With the recent economic downturn, many people have had to think about cutting expenses in their daily lives. South of the border that often means saving on supplies for the family dog or abandoning their pets altogether, says Wendy Smith.
The Jaffray resident is welcoming some of the homeless dogs to her property. Regularly, she heads to the US and brings home what she calls “death row dogs”. While Canadian shelters do not routinely euthanize animals, Smith explains U.S. dogs are often not so lucky.
“These dogs are dying by the 1,000s down there,” she adds. Smith and her husband have rescued five of them and are currently hosting five others that they are trying to find “forever homes” for.
Smith has room for up to 12 dogs on her property where she also runs a wildlife rescue operation. All the dogs she gets from U.S. shelters will make great pets, she emphasizes. “We make sure they have all their shots and we spay and neuter them before we adopt them out,” Smith explains.
She also provides a good and stable environment for the animals to make them feel comfortable. Smith tries to not crate or kennel the animals. Many of them stay in the family’s home or run free on the acreage and there is a large play area outside.
“I’ve always been involved with animals,” Smith says. From the beginning, she remembers, they have had dogs and cats dumped over the fence of their property. Her dedication to the animals is a lot of work. Between feeding, watering and walking the pets and caring for her four-year-old adopted daughter, there is not a lot of time for anything else. The one luxury Smith and her husband allow themselves is to go to Cranbrook to see the Kootenay Ice play.
What motivates Smith is the thought that she can save the lives of some animals. She gets no funding or grants for her work and has to pay for vet services and other bills out of her own pocket. Recently, Smith got some help from Top Crop in Cranbrook in the form of a pallet of dog food. To recover some of the cost, Smith asks $150 per pet adoption.
To find out more about the dogs, call Wendy Smith at 250-429-3453.