In search of a forever home

WAG pup arrived at the shelter in April after being rescued from Thailand’s canine meat trade

One lucky dog that missed the dinner plate in South East Asia is on the hunt for a permanent home in Whistler.

Reece, a five-year-old Thai Ridgeback mix, is one of the dogs currently available for adoption at Whistler Animals Galore (WAG).  She first arrived at the shelter this past April, after being rescued from Thailand’s meat trade by the Soi Dog Foundation.

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“She’s been here a while,” WAG adoptions coordinator Jess McNaught said, noting they are hoping to give her a “forever” home this fall.

Reece found her way to WAG after the shelter was contacted by the Soi Dog Foundation as a potential candidate.

“They choose shelters and (the dogs) get sponsored to be flown over here,” McNaught said. “It’s such a unique case and it’s not often we get the opportunity to help these dogs find homes.”

The Soi Dog Foundation rescues dogs that have been captured by Thailand’s meat trade industry, in which McNaught said animals are often tortured and skinned alive.

“Their belief is that if (the dogs) are tortured before their death, then the meat is tenderer,” she explained. “(The rescued dogs) can have a chance at having a real life and know what it’s like to be loved and have a family, to have a bed or to go for a walk. When Reece first came over, it was crazy how amazed she was by everything … It’s a new world for her.”

“Their belief is that if (the dogs) are tortured before their death, then the meat is tenderer.”

Despite the drastic change in environment, McNaught said the shelter pup is “super affectionate.”

“If you stop petting her, she likes to paw you for more pats,” she said. “She is hilarious. She has the funniest little traits. I think she thinks she’s a cat.”

McNaught said Reece has a tendency to be intimidated by bigger dogs, which means she would be most comfortable in a home where she is the only animal. Shelter staff also said Reece would be happiest in an environment without small children and remind any prospective owners that her difficult past may mean they’ll need a little more patience than other dogs might demand.

“When she first came here she had a big fear of men,” McNaught said. “She is getting a lot better now … She’s more comfortable with females and will warm up very quickly. To the right home, having a male won’t be an issue if they’re willing to take the time to earn her trust.”

For now, the pup is being temporarily fostered and is enjoying being in a home for the first time in her life, while she waits for a forever family.

“We’re always looking for foster homes,” McNaught said. “If anyone is interested in fostering or adopting and wants to get to know her, call and we can set up an appointment.”

For those who aren’t able to foster or adopt but are still interested in helping Reece and her fellow WAG residents, McNaught said donations are another great way to help.
For more information about Reece or the shelter, go to

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