For two young husky mix pups, life is changing drastically for the better.
Found in a Prince Albert dumpster on Dec. 15, they excitedly piled into the SPCA’s van on Tuesday during the first leg of a journey to Vancouver Island.
When they were first found, Prince Albert SPCA assistant manager Leanne Roberts said that the two female dogs, named Echo and Esmee, weren’t in the best of shape.
“They were extremely thin, they had lice, they were -- I don’t know if it was abuse, but they were not socialized,” Roberts said of the almost six-month old dogs. “It took a little while to trust us, but now they’re happy-go-lucky girls.”
The road to recovery started with vaccinations, de-worming and was topped off with quality playtime spent with the canines.
After the two pups were found, the SPCA faced an over-capacity number of pets. With the facility bulging at the seams, a temporary offsite facility was used to house overflow, and a number of animal rescue groups were called to see if they had extra available space.
The farthest away to call back was the Vancouver Island Dog Rescue, which agreed to take in two dogs.
“We were ecstatic, of course,” Robert said, noting that animal rescue organizations’ assistance helps the SPCA avoid more drastic solutions to its almost consistent overcrowding.
“They deserve to be in a home, as does every single dog or cat we have here.”
The dogs were scheduled to be shipped free of charge by the non-profit organization Air Angels Rescue Animal Transportation to Vancouver Island on Tuesday.
They were extremely thin, they had lice, they were -- I don’t know if it was abuse, but they were not socialized. - Prince Albert SPCA assistant manager Leanne Roberts
“They’re going from -41 C with the wind chill to about 8 C, flowers blooming,” Roberts said with a laugh.
Air Angels Rescue Animal Transportation started a few years ago, linking animal rescue organizations from throughout western Canada with free transportation via WestJet.
By linking these various organizations together, rescue organizations that are at or over capacity are less likely to resort to euthanasia, program co-ordinator Linda Rohdin said.
“One way or another, they’re going to help,” she said.
An additional two dogs are set to be shipped out on Thursday, Roberts said, noting that the SPCA facility is currently still at capacity.
“This really speaks volumes to the need for a new shelters -- to have those extra kennels available and that extra space to house dogs so that we don’t end up in these situations,” she said.
The New Leash on Life Campaign is in the midst of its final push, with ground set to break on a new SPCA facility this spring. Before the end of the year, the SPCA hopes to raise the more than $1 remaining still needed.
Anyone interested in making a contribution to the campaign or finding out more about its progress can visit the SPCA’s website, at www.princealbertspca.com, or email fund development co-ordinator Carol Samuels at firstname.lastname@example.org.