WAG sees influx of sick and injured dogs

The shelter has had several critical care cases come through their doors this month

Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) has seen an influx in the number of critical care cases in the shelter this month.

Three badly injured dogs requiring extra care, one after the other, has added up to pricey bills for the organization in January.  

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“It’s a lot in one month,” said Lindsay Suckling, shelter operations manager at WAG. “These cases take a lot of time for us to be taking care of everyone’s (injuries)… It takes away from trying to find homes for other animals.”

One particularly challenging case was Reba, who was brought to a local vet after she was hit by a car. She suffered extensive injuries to her head, a broken jaw and severe road rash. “She’s doing better now, but it’s been about a week and a half of kennel rest for her,” Suckling said. “She has to wear a muzzle to keep her jaw in place and we have to clean her wounds daily. She’s such a good patient. She lets us clean her painful road rash.”

Now, she’s ready to be adopted.

Another dog, a senior named Sally, served as a success story. She was found outside in the cold with fleas, ear mites, broken teeth and masses all over her body, including one the size of melon on her stomach. The tumour, luckily, was benign. “It’s a really happy story for her,” Suckling said. “She wasn’t here for that long and she got adopted. We get a lot of seniors coming through our doors. To be honest, I think the seniors are the most special. They’re just as deserving as a little puppy to get adopted.”

On the flip side, there was Sable. A man found her freezing in a field with kidney disease. Despite their best efforts, she never got better. She lived in a foster home until she passed away. “In the end, she got to meet a lot of people who loved her,” Suckling said. “Her last couple of weeks were peaceful for her.”

To that end, the shelter is hoping to drum up support for its critical care fund. This month, dog owners in the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) are encouraged to renew their licenses for their dogs. If they choose to do it at WAG, the organization gets half the proceeds. “That goes towards helping our animals like Reba and Sally and Sable. It’s a great way to help out WAG and keep your animal safe,” Suckling said.

The shelter is grateful for several supporters who are quick to donate when they hear that help is needed, she added. “The other day a gentleman came in and gave a cheque for $500 after hearing Reba’s story,” she said. “That happens a lot; people come in and give what they can.”

Another woman in Lillooet monitors the WAG website and sends in a donation when she sees there’s an influx of critical care cases. But there are other ways to help. “If you can’t make a donation even sharing adoptable animals on your Facebook page or volunteering or becoming a foster home or transport driver is helpful,” Suckling said. “We quite often use vets in Squamish or Pemberton and we always need drivers to get them to the vet. That’s a way to help as well.”

For more information visit whistlerwag.com.

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