Video and Story: Another chance for adoption

The BC SPCA Drive for Lives program transfers animals to more populated cities where they are more likely to find forever homes.

BCSPCA branch manager Gerry Whittle with Peanut

BCSPCA branch manager Gerry Whittle with Peanut

Peanut, a Dachshund-beagle mix, has been without a home for over a month and this week he is joining the other dogs and cats to take a trip in the big white BCSPCA van to Quesnel.

The Drives For Lives program has run since 2004, and while it used to be simpler when Hawkair was in Prince Rupert to fly canines and felines to the Lower Mainland, it’s still important to get those little guys down there even if they have to take one long road trip.

This is the first time new branch manager of the Prince Rupert BCSPCA Gerry Whittle has organized the program.

“They stand a better chance to be adopted in the larger centres than they do in the smaller ones,” Whittle said, while Peanut sauntered around by his feet.

The van will drive the homeless pets from Prince Rupert to be transferred to another van in Houston where they’ll be taken to Quesnel. One Rottweiler has been claimed by a woman in Prince George. The other four dogs and 20-plus-something cats and kittens are heading to the Lower Mainland.

Last year, the BCSPCA had 472 animals in their care and 266 were transferred out for adoption. So far this year, they’ve had 189 animals in their care and 65 have been transferred out.

Whittle’s goal for this transfer is to get all of the dogs out, even Peanut who has grown close to the branch manager. Prince Rupert’s BCSPCA branch doesn’t have a dog assessor who has taken the course to determine whether or not a dog over the age of four months is suitable to be adopted out. Whittle plans on getting his qualifications soon, but in the meantime, these dogs remain the responsibility of the BCSPCA.

The facility is also chockablock with cats and kittens.

“Currently right now we are completely full of cats. We do not have a spare kennel. Through adoptions and the Drives For Lives it would be nice to free up the extra space,” Whittle said. “Some animals get transferred four, five and six times before they get adopted but we’re hoping with ours it’s relatively fast.”

The SPCA is also looking for volunteers to walk the dogs, when they get more, and to help socialize the kittens to become used to people.  To contact Prince Rupert BCSPCA, call 250-624-2859.