A recent event involving six puppies being abandoned behind Three Mile Bend has the SPCA reminding people that there are humane ways of dealing with unwanted animals.
Julie McInnis, executive director, said it is sad when things like this happen but there are other options.
“Spay and neuter is of course the first step. But if people get unwanted or unexpected babies then they should talk with their vet or call the SPCA or another rescue agency,” said McInnis.
The SPCA is often full to capacity, but McInnis explained that they do have a wait list and would rather see baby animals stay with their mothers as long as possible to receive the needed care for the first few weeks.
For information on other agencies that may be available to take unwanted babies, the SPCA can be contacted.
“Definitely call us. Anything is better than just dumping animals in the cold wet grass and leaving them to the elements,” said McInnis.
For non-domesticated animals there are also rescue centres like the Kerry Wood Nature Centre for birds and the Medicine River Wildlife Centre for other species.
“We deal with these agencies so often injured animals will be brought here and then picked up. Always call us first because we know what goes where and who looks after what,” said McInnis.
The event that recently brought these issues to light was the loss of six puppies found at Three Mile Bend.
The puppies were four to six-day-old Staffordshire Terrier cross suffering from hypothermia and in extreme distress.
“These puppies were so tiny and so helpless. We got them warm and dry, and bottle fed them,” said Amy Corpe, animal care manager.
After almost 12 hours of intensive care the puppies were unable to maintain normal body temperature and all six passed away.
“It is so sad and unnecessary for this to happen. It is an extremely emotional time to see such disregard for precious life,” said McInnis.
The SPCA also has a foster program. This program takes the younger animals out of the cages so they can get the feedings they need, sometimes as frequently as every two hours, and frees up space at the SPCA for older animals.
The SPCA is looking for new foster homes and anyone interested should contact Amy Corpe at 403-342-7722 ext. 208.