Giving Life with Four Walls, a Roof, and a Floor

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Charity Spotlight: This blog post was provided by Second Chance Animal Rescue, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.

What’s a pup to do when it’s minus 20 outside and all that’s above is the moon and the stars and all that’s below is the cold, wet snow—well, find a hole and hope to live another day!

Dogs in rural Alberta communities often live outside. The intent is not neglect, residents adore their pets, but outdoor life for pets is simply the common practice. Winters are harsh and a pet shelter can be the difference between life and death.

Sadly, many people in rural communities cannot afford adequate shelters for their animals. Pets often take refuge under decks, in holes, or under abandoned structures. This often isn’t warm enough for pets to survive, and owners often think their pets will be fine. It is very common for animals to freeze, especially puppies and kittens, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A very simple shelter is all most animals need to survive harsh winter temperatures.

Because dogs and cats generate most of their heat from their belly, lying curled up in a shelter with a well-insulated floor, walls, and surrounded by straw, is enough to keep the animal alive. How SCARS Helps

As a registered charity, Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) is on a mission to rescue and rehome unwanted and abandoned pets from rural communities that lack animal control and veterinary services. Our Walls 4 Winter program provides fully insulated pet shelters to residents who participate in our Spay-Neuter-Return program. Surgical sterilization of owned pets reduces the vast numbers of unwanted pets, while the shelters provide quality of life.

A lot of effort and love goes into every shelter and many people are involved in the process from design to delivery. The largest dog shelters are approximately 100 pounds and there are three sizes for dogs, as well as a version for cats. Each shelter is framed, insulated, and painted and our volunteers deliver shelters throughout the year. We also organize large deliveries each fall, and a group of volunteers will deliver up to 50 shelters at a time and spend the day meeting with residents and their dogs, setting up shelters.

“I had the opportunity to participate in delivering free dog and cat houses,” says Moe Duval, a SCARS delivery volunteer. “The SCARS volunteers knew what they were doing and often referred to residents and their pets by name. They knew which pet gave birth to which puppies and where they lived. They talked to the residents about their free spay/neuter program, dropped off houses for pets that have already participated and collected homeless pets. One of the homeless dogs had given birth to four beautiful little puppies a week earlier. They were laying on a sheet of plywood out in the open, curled up in a ball to stay warm. The experience left me feeling very emotional. I learned so much about SCARS and what they do to help homeless pets and assist pet owners. It’s truly awesome.”

Dogs Like Muskwa Need Our Help

When we rescue a pet that has experienced frostbite we are reminded how important these shelters are to communities. Muskwa is a dog that suffered from severe frostbite before he came into our care last February. He was able to recover and was adopted.

The need for these shelters is great, but our volunteers are passionate and dedicated. We want a world where no pet has to go it alone in the cold.

To learn more about Second Chance Animal Rescue, or to make a donation, please visit their Charity Profile Page.

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