‘Puppers’ worked on his social skills at the new CARE animal shelter. (CARE Network photo)

‘Puppers’ worked on his social skills at the new CARE animal shelter. (CARE Network photo)

CARE column: Be prepared for puppies

CARE recently helped two dogs regain their social skills

JAMES RODGERS

Special to the Westerly

Emergency dog and cat food is available on the west coast. Contact the CARE Network to organize safe delivery or to discuss any other animal related challenges or safety concerns during these unusual times: Call or text 250 266 9663.

Speaking of community safety concerns, CARE recently helped with two dogs who were charging, barking and snapping at folks (mostly children) in a particular area. Neighbours were at their wits end and rumours of a plan to shoot the dogs started circulating.

Once alerted, CARE quickly contacted the dogs’ guardians to investigate the situation. It was determined that the dogs had been neglected for some time and that the family had no intention of improving their care. The only thing the family was willing to do to keep the community safe was to transfer guardianship of the dogs over to the CARE Network.

With the necessary paperwork in place CARE staff quickly started organizing next steps. First, if the dogs were as aggressive as reported and not able to be socialized, CARE needed to have a plan in place to euthanize them. Extreme? Yes. Unusual? No. Sadly, over the past eight years of working with animals in our region, the CARE team are all too familiar with a common cycle:

• Puppy joins a family.

• Puppy is pampered for a few months.

• Puppy requires house training and socializing (to stop mouthing, jumping up, defecating and peeing indoors, etc.) but little to none is provided.

• Puppy is relegated to living the rest of her life outside.

• Without proper social skills, Puppy gets into trouble and may have to be removed from the community for safety reasons.

• If Puppy ends up biting someone, or if Puppy cannot be socialized and re-homed, someone like a CARE staff person has to make the terribly hard decision to euthanize* Puppy.

Step two for the CARE team regarding the two aggressive, recently surrendered dogs was to make arrangements to apprehend the dogs: load up carriers and pack the catcher pole, treats, and our wobbly wagon. Thanks to years of practice and the right tools, both dogs were safely and securely contained and ready to be transferred to the new animal shelter for assessment within 30 minutes!

Once at the animal shelter, the two dogs were each introduced to their side-by-side temporary kennel residences. CARE’s primary dog behaviour assessment person showed up soon after to weigh in on the fate of the dogs. Soon the dogs were showing signs that they could be socialized. Within 24 hours, the dogs were cuddling and licking the faces of CARE staff! Obviously, the veterinarian on standby wasn’t going to have to euthanize anyone this time.

Unlike ‘Puppy’, these two dogs were able to be socialized and re-homed before they ended up getting into fatal trouble. Please help stop the cycle of unwanted dogs paying the ultimate price for bad decisions:

• Adopt a dog or cat from a reputable organization.

• Think twice about bringing a puppy home. And if you do, be prepared. They require a lot of training and time (at least a dedicated hour of training each day for the first few months, walks, cleaning up feces, etc.) and cost a lot (shots, spay/neuter, food, toys, adequate outdoor dwelling, a properly setup yard, etc.).

• Support your local animal rescue and shelter! On the west coast that is the CARE Network. CARE is currently developing a proactive dog and puppy training program to get at the root of these sorts of challenges.

* Euthanizing animals is always a last resort. CARE Network tries very hard to rehabilitate and save every animal that comes into our care but sometimes safety risks to the animal, volunteers, adopters, and the public are too great and resources too few. This is a harsh and heartbreaking reality that CARE works tirelessly to change.

CARE Network are the local folks who have been helping raccoons, birds and of course dogs and cats, from Ahousaht to Hitacu since 2012. We are neighbours working with neighbours to improve public health, safety and wellbeing for all residents and visitors, whether they have two legs or four, fins or feathers. Facebook.com/coastalanimalrescue Donations (one time and monthly) and volunteering (while maintaining safe distancing) are always appreciated!

James Rodgers is the Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network’s co-founder.

READ MORE: CARE column: Cold winter season terrifying for stray cats

READ MORE: CARE column: Two baby raccoons rescued after dog attack near Tofino

READ: CARE Network elated with $30K donation from Ocean Outfitters for West Coast animal shelter

CatsDogsTofino,ucluelet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March. 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino councillor candidates identify differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new municipal councillors on March 6.

Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen has resigned his position and is heading south-Island. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen resigns

Mayor Mayco Noel says he and his council “completely caught off guard”

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation man shot and killed by Tofino RCMP

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

Most Read