2021 Was a challenging year for the Victoria Humane Society but with the help of donors, volunteers, foster homes, veterinarian staff, and adopters, it was also an amazing year.
Before we tell you about the year, let us tell you about Raven.
Found in a Northern community held for days in a vicious leg hold trap, Raven was near death. The only hope for her was intense medical intervention and VHS stepped in, knowing we had your support.
When Raven arrived, she was just so terrified, shaking and trying to retreat, dragging her injured leg. She was examined and found to also have a terrible eye infection. Both her leg and her eye had to removed.
A very special foster home stepped up and Raven is with them still, learning that she is now safe. When she is better physically and emotionally, Raven will go to a home where she will be loved furever. And with your help, we will continue to help more animals.
You can read more about a year in rescue in a magazine format here. The magazine format is best read on a computer or tablet (it’s not easy to read on a phone) or just enjoy a scroll through this long post.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your support.
NOW MORE ABOUT 2021
Before December rolled around over 1300 animals had arrived in care and made their way to loving homes! That is an accomplishment everyone who is reading this can all take pride in. It takes a village.
Many of the 1300 who came in were serious medical rescues and animals with behavioural issues. Somehow (well we know it’s because we can’t say no) VHS has become the go-to for taking really hard cases, the cases rejected by most others.
VHS has been at full capacity since June. Our volunteer foster coordinators have been run off their feet and they may shed tears on occasion but they never give up in defeat. Our foster program is one of the most successful in Canada.
The sled dog program is going full steam. Two dedicated volunteers look after everything from transfers, fosters, adoptions and the occasional escapee. 22 Sled dogs found their forever homes this year but there are 75 more on the wait list.
And they keep coming…
VHS rescued dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens from situations in Whistler, Vancouver, North Island, Quesnel, Prince George, Lytton, Regina, and Manitoba. This too was accomplished by volunteers in the new transfer van provided by Bosleys PetValu.
A monthly bottle drive has helped us hold on to a small VHS facility where we are able to store food and supplies, house some cats and kittens who need to learn to trust humans, and provide a meeting space for fosters and adopters. It’s not big enough to temporarily house dogs needing assessments or even very many cats but we are still hopeful a large property will be donated!
MORE FACES FROM 2021
This very sweet old fellow was found in the bush by a hiker. He was with a stinky old crate that was filled with feces and urine.
The kind hiker called Animal Control, Animal Control called VHS and said they had an old dog with severe fleas, skin infections, and badly emaciated. Could we take him? What could we say but yes?
We soon found that an elderly man had been calling the local rescue organization trying to find someone to take his dog. He couldn’t afford the flea treatment, let alone the vet costs and he was unable to keep up with the physical care of the dog. That rescue unfortunately turned him away.
Luckily Sir Lancelot is a tough old dog and survived his time in the woods. Now he is safe, warm, bathed, fed, and the fleas are gone. His life is looking up!!
Please please please, check on your elderly neighbours and friends with pets. Are they still able to care for them? Do they need help? VHS will always try to take in pets from elderly people no longer able to provide care. This is often the best option for both pet and owner, and will make both their lives easier.
For Sir Lancelot’s sake, if everyone checked on one elderly person, it might make a lot of animal’s and people’s lives better.
you ask yourself why you do what you do ….all the tears and sleepless nights…but this is it right here
This story is copied from a wonderful person who was involved in saving Romeo and arranged for him to come into our care…
“So a follow up from the transfer yesterday. This picture shows it all. A little background on Romeo. He was born feral and brought into the program with his brother Gulliver at the age of about 16 weeks because he was deemed unadoptable. He overcame some medical challenges that plagued both brothers and after about 5 months in care he made enough progress to consider putting him on the transfer south. He wasn’t the snuggly kind we were informed, “He is a bit of a brat but he has the looks”.
VHS accepted Romeo and, being totally honest about his “traits” and personality, placed him into a foster home (with an apology).
He arrived last evening and this is the result! They never cease to amaze me these cats. Thank you to this wonderful young lady who against the odds brought out the true Romeo.
A Happy Ending
One that surprised even us…
Pickles came into care in September. We didn’t know what we were going to do with this little guy who was unpredictable, not good with anything, and spun out of control for most of the day. His owners had tried everything to help him, but gave up.
Pickles spent a couple of months in foster learning new life skills and making friends. He was still a quirky dog, and we were a little nervous that he may never find a forever home. He was posted online with a brutally honest adoption profile hoping for the best.
Pickle’s post was shared 237 times, and one of those shares worked. His picture showed up on a wonderful guy’s computer. Steve had been looking for a dog for a long time. He has mobility issues, so the right dog was important. He saw Pickle’s picture and put in an application. As soon as Pickles met Steve he was ready to jump in his truck and head off for his new life.
He is now Steve’s permanent side-kick and living the best life. He is the king of dog parks, a perfect co-pilot, and getting known around town. So, if you see a proud little terrier, who still occasionally throws in a spin for old time’s sake, and a guy with a really big heart, give them a wave.
As the Covid restrictions lessens, animals are being abandoned, not at an alarming rate yet but what is alarming is the fact that the dogs we are taking in are often under-socialized, untrained and in need of a great deal of help. Additionally, as remote communities were shut down for so long, rescue efforts including spay/neuter clinics were also shut down. Now that we can get to the communities there are hundreds of animals in need. Covid may have set back the programs by 10 years.
In late 2021 we acquired funding and were able to access some communities and have helped 200 dogs and cats get fixed and returned to their homes. This is a program it will be vital to continue.
Until we have a dedicated shelter, the only way to grow capacity is with more foster homes and we are actively working toward bringing more people on board. Fostering is not for the faint of heart, the animals are seldom the perfectly trained small dog. They are often not house trained, do like to bark and aren’t socialized with other dogs and people. Cats are somewhat easier but they too need a place to decompress.
As we reflect on 2021 and brace for 2022, we thank you for being a part of the rescue journey.
Tails are wagging and kittens are purring because of you.
With immense gratitude we wish you all a very healthy, happy holiday season.
If you would like to support the Victoria Humane Society further please donate online or
via mail to #5-4217 Glanford Avenue, Victoria BC V8Z 4B9
or reach out via email.