County unleashes funds to In the Woods Animal Rescue

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has unleashed a donation to In the Woods Animal Rescue Society that provides shelter for local stray dogs.

At its regular meeting Jan. 10, council approved a 2017 donation of $5,000 to assist with food, supplies and veterinary care expenses as recommended by administration.

A total of 62 stray, abandoned or surrendered dogs from the county were taken to the rescue in 2017, according to county records compiled by Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

“It’s an issue we have to deal with,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.

“We have lots of dogs trotting around.”

However, Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen questioned the high price for the number of dogs from Big Lakes County.

That calculates to about $80 a dog.

But the reeve said it was more economical than other options.

“It costs less than what it would cost us to destroy the dogs,” Matthews says.

“That’s still cheap.”

It costs about $300 to euthanize a dog, says Olansky, who responded to the reeve who asked what it cost.

On that count, it would cost the county about $18,600 to euthanize dogs.

Based in Marie Reine, the rescue society requested a donation in December to support the costs.

In the 2018 budget, the donated amount has been transferred to the animal control budget, which means that a funding request will no be required, says Heather Nanninga, director of planning and development.

“Currently, the rescue receives close to 80 per cent of the dogs retrieved by the county animal control officer since there is no other location in the area to take the animals if they are not claimed,” Nanninga says.

The society values the support for the county.

“The funds will be used for operational costs, and if all goes well, perhaps towards the purchase of a building that we can use as a quarantine/intake area,” says a letter signed by vice-president Cheryl Bastien.

“This building would not only give us a spot to thoroughly physically check out intakes, but to quarantine them for the required period to avoid the transfer of deadly viruses such as parvo, distemper and parainfluenza.”

It would also be used to segregate any medically fragile smaller animals.


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