A dog found tied to a post with an electrical cord, in a Prince Rupert school yard on Aug. 11, is currently in foster care with an Aug. 17 deadline for her family to be able to claim her.
Joe Griffith, BC SPCA Prince Rupert Branch manager told The Northern View when an animal is brought in by Prince Rupert bylaw officers, there is a 96-hour stray-hold placed on the animal which allows for owners to come forward and claim their pets. It is not the responsibility of the city or the SPCA to track down the owner.
“Because we are all good humans we will post on Facebook, or if someone has reported a lost dog that matches what we have here, we will make an effort to locate the owner,” Griffith said. If still unclaimed after the four-day hold, the dog becomes the responsibility of the SPCA. Most dogs are claimed and reunited with their families within 24 to 48 hours, he said.
Abandoned dogs are not a common occurrence in Prince Rupert, with the local SPCA branch seeing less than four or five situations each year.
Prince Rupert SPCA services the North Coast region all the way to Burns Lake with the next closest SPCA branch in Prince George. The P.R. branch often takes in dogs from other areas or pet rescue agencies, such as from Terrace, when their shelters are overflowing.
Griffith said generally speaking there are not a lot of dogs available in Prince Rupert for adoption. He said there are not a lot of adopters, so dogs are not sent from other areas to the Prince Rupert branch for the re-homing process. However, through the BC SPCA website dogs from other areas can be adopted from an out-of-town branch by Prince Rupert residents.
Currently, Griffith has less than ten applications in his desk drawer for dog adoptions with most being for particular breeds and smaller dogs like maltese, shih tzu and chihuahuas, other than the larger breeds such as husky or shepherd cross that come into the shelter, he said.
Public education of the adoption process is important when searching for the right pet, Griffith said. Application profiles are aligned with the animal’s needs and lifestyle.
“We do matching. We match the dog with the person. Not the person with the dog,” Griffith said. “For example we would never place a mastiff in an apartment building, because they need more space. We would never place an excitable terrier with a first time pet owner because they need more skills. We would never place a dog that is prey driven towards cats, in a house with cats. We do our due diligence.”
Potential adopters can apply online and applications are kept on file for six months. When a suitable dog owner match is found, a phone screening will occur. If successful, it will be followed by an in person meet-and-greet interview which will determine if a good match has been made. The dog is then placed with the new family in a fostering placement.
“We don’t complete the adoption until the dog has been spayed or neutered … it could be eight to 15 weeks down the road before we complete the formal adoption,” Griffith said. As part of the adoption process the SPCA arranges for the spay or neuter based on available servicing times.
As for Ruby-Tuesday, the dog found in the school yard, Griffith said it is important not to judge or jump to conclusions about how she got there. She could have strayed away from her home, her owners could be away and she bolted from a dog-sitter, there are many different circumstances that could have happened, he said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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