Animal Rescue Profile: Barrhead Animal Rescue Society

This month’s animal rescue profile is Barrhead Animal Rescue Society.

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Three years ago in December, we adopted our sweet little Boston Terrier, Freckles, through B.A.RS.

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B.A.R.S. is a shelterless, non profit organization that was established back in 2010.  They focus on ensuring the humane treatment of all animals in the Town of Barrhead, Alberta. the County of Barrhead and surrounding areas.  Their Mission Statement, Core Values, and Strategic Goals can be found HERE.

Recently, B.A.R.S. had an amazing story that will honestly bring a tear of happiness to your eyes.  There was a dog that they brought into care that managed to escape and had been missing and on the run for six months and they were able to humanly trap him last week.  To read the full story, click HERE.

If you are interested in helping out B.A.R.S.:

Click HERE to adopt

Click HERE to donate (even $10 will make a difference)

Click HERE to volunteer

Click HERE to view upcoming events

Click HERE to Like them on Facebook

Reminder: Do Not Leave Your Pet in a Hot Vehicle

Every year, I read the same thing over and over again in the news.  People leaving pets (and children) in hot cars.  It honestly boggles my mind that people need to be reminded or that I actually need to write this, but here we are.

In case you were unaware, pets can die if left in hot vehicles.  They do not sweat and can not expel heat like humans can.  They wear a fur coat 24/7.  Try walking around in a fur coat in the summer heat and see how well you fair.

I hear countless of excuses and stories such as “well, I was only gone for a minute” and “he/she doesn’t like being left at home and likes to run errands with me”.  I don’t care about the excuses, there is not one good enough to leave a pet in a hot car.  EVER.

Your pet does not need to run errands with you.  Leave them at home.  Do they have separation anxiety?  Leaving them in a hot car will not make it better and maybe you should actually address the operation anxiety and find a solution for it at home.

A minute can turn into five minutes.  It can turn into twenty minutes.  I can’t tell you the number of times I would think of running in and out of a store and then had to stand in line and wait for a good 10 minutes because it’s busy, they are understaffed and only have one till open.  It happens.  You can never guarantee how long you will be away from your car.  Leave your pet at home, they will be happier and safer there.

Are you travelling with your pets and need to stop for things like food?  Plan ahead, it’s not that hard.  We travel with our pets all the time back to BC and Saskatchewan and have at least 8 hours in the car for either trip in the summer.  Do you know what we do?  We pack food and water (plus, having your own food on the road is cheaper and you will get to your destination faster).  If we do stop, one person goes inside and the other takes the dogs out for a nature break.  Then, when the other person gets back, the other person goes in and the other one will hang out with the dogs.  It’s easy.

The photo below shows how dangerous it can become for your pet in a hot car:

Car Temp

Leave your pets at home.  If you don’t, you risk your animal dying and you being charged (and definitely confronted by someone who called the authorities on you).

If you see a pet in distress, as tempting as it to smash the window (or someone’s face), don’t.  You will most likely get charged and in some cases, bit by the animal.  Try to contact the owner by having them paged if they parked outside a business.  If you can not track down the owner (and especially if they refuse to do anything about the animal in the hot car and/or if the pet is in distress), call 911 and wait until help arrives. Some states will allow you to rescue an in distress animal, but not all areas have these laws. In Canada, you will be charged for breaking a window.

At the end of the day, please use some common sense.  Leave your pets at home.

The Realities of Animal Rescue

Animal rescue is one of the most heartwarming causes.  It’s amazing to see an animal find and thrive in their forever home.  I have been fortunate to provide a loving home to three dogs.  I also am fortunate to be involved with two local rescue organizations and see all of the hard work it takes to find a home for an animal end on a very happy note.

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But, things are not always sunshine and rainbows in animal rescue.  The truth is that animal rescue is hard.  It’s heartbreaking.  It’s frustrating.  It’s scary.  It can and will destroy your faith in humanity.

People who are involved in animal rescue will understand what I’m talking about as they see this on a daily basis.

Animal rescue organizations are constantly having to take in animals who have been abandoned because they are no longer wanted by people.  They take in animals who have been horribly neglected and abused.  They take in animals who have never lived inside a home as they have been feral their entire lives.  They take in animals who’s only purpose has been for breeding.  They take in animals from horrific situations such as illegal meat trades.

There are organizations who work with vulnerable communities and while there is usually a good relationship built, not all relationships there are positive.  Animals are not treated well (most, but not all cases).  It’s hard to expect a community that is struggling to care for their own people to care for all the animals there.

People in animal rescue often have to physically rescue animals in horrible conditions.  I have known people who have crawled under decks and abandoned vehicles to emerge covered in dirt and mud with an arm full of puppies.

I honestly do not know of a rescue organization that is not running at a deficit.  Vet bills are expensive.  Taking in animals and providing medical care can cost rescue organizations thousands of dollars.  All rescues are non for profit and rely on donations to pay for everything. It can be an incredibly tough decision as to taking in an animal with extensive medical needs and not knowing whether you have the funding to cover it, or passing that animal up.

There are never enough foster homes.  No foster home = not being able to take an animal into care.

What most people don’t realize is that animal rescue organizations occasionally deal with threats as well.  They deal with threats against animals (these are cases where if the rescue doesn’t take the animal into care, an individual will threaten death of the animal).   They deal with people claiming that the rescue “stole” their animal (which FYI: animal rescues do not do that and do not have the authority to do so).  They get people making false claims online against them and purposely trying to defame them.  People will even recruit their friends to try and go after the rescue online once they themselves have been banned and blocked from a rescue’s social media page.  People will spread lies and say awful things about people who run the rescue organization.  And sadly, some people in rescue organizations will even be threatened will violence themselves.

Why am I writing about all of this, you may ask?  Education.

What can you do about it?  Foster, donate, advocate, volunteer and adopt.  But, I realize that not everyone can do all or even any of these.

You can follow some local rescues in your area on social media.  Attend a fundraising event.  Do a bottle drive for a local rescue. Instead of gifts for things like birthdays and holidays like Christmas, ask for a donation to be made in your name to an animal rescue organization.  These are all ways of helping.

The most important thing is to understand and be empathetic to what people in animal rescue deal with.  These people are volunteering their time.  No one is getting paid to do this.  They do this because they love animals.