The abandonment of four puppies over the past few days was enough to tip the Prince Albert SPCA’s scales into crisis mode.
With their facility over-capacity, staff reluctantly uttering the “e” word on Tuesday, when they feared the four abandoned puppies would have to be euthanized.
These fears were dashed by mid-afternoon, when New Hope Dog Rescue agreed to accept all four puppies, and Size Small Dog Rescue accepted another two dogs from the shelter.
But, although grateful for the Saskatoon-based animal rescue organizations, facility manager Debbie Lehner said, “this only helps us in the very short term.”
As the two animal rescue organizations returned calls accepting the six dogs, another stray puppy was dropped off.
“We put him in a cat kennel,” Lehner said, noting that the facility is still over-capacity.
Of the four puppies abandoned in the last few days, two are shepherd mixes, which were abandoned on Saturday, and two are pomeranian/spaniel mixes, which were abandoned on Monday.
The puppies abandoned on Saturday were found loose in a back alley, city bylaw manager Suzanne Stubbs said.
“Thank God somebody picked them up,” she said, noting a wind chill that dipped temperatures down to around -40 C over the weekend.
Monday’s puppies were involved in an unusual transaction, wherein a pedestrian was handed the bundles of fluff from someone she didn’t know.
The SPCA’s 29 dog kennels are currently housing 21 mature dogs and eight puppies under the age of six months. In addition, three mature dogs are in foster care and one puppy is in a cat kennel.
Throughout this whole ordeal are a few overarching frustrations, including owners not spaying or neutering their pets and not re-claiming them after they go missing.
What’s really sad is that some of the dogs that we have here, nobody’s phoned to say that they are missing. - Prince Albert SPCA manager Debbie Lehner
“What’s really sad is that some of the dogs that we have here, nobody’s phoned to say that they are missing,” Lehner said, throwing her hands up in the air. “And we know that they have homes, here -- where are their owners?“
In response to the inundation of canines, the SPCA is offering a 10 per cent discount on all dog adoption fees, between today and Monday -- a tactic Lehner said that the SPCA has successfully used in the past.
”People are always looking for deals, and if there’s money to be saved in one area, people will come.”
The Prince Albert SPCA is currently not accepting stray dogs due to a lack of space, with Lehner encouraging people to take them into their house in the meantime. A lost report should still be called into the SPCA, she noted.
City bylaw is still picking up dogs, Stubbs said, but there are time restrictions in place.
The temporary holding location is only open during weekday work hours, so residents who pick up canines outside of these hours are encouraged to hold onto them until the next business day.
If all else fails, call the SPCA, Lehner said, noting that they’ll do whatever they can to accommodate their needs.
Pets available for adoption at the SPCA can be seen online, at www.princealbertspca.com, and the facility can be contacted at 763-6110.