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10 years, 1952 dogs: Paws it Foward reflects

Okanagan charity looks back on 2021
The Paws it Forward team. (Contributed)

Submitted by Paws it Foward

One incredible community that has made it all possible…

This year at Paws It Forward Dog Rescue we celebrated an entire decade of saving dogs.

Looking back at the past ten years, we are so in awe of the way our pack has pulled together time after time to overcome challenges. This past year was no exception – and it certainly had no shortage of struggle – as we continue to navigate the unprecedented situations brought about by the pandemic.

2021 was a year wherein many ways our world began to emerge from all things COVID; people began to return to routines and travel plans, and life began to feel a little more ‘normal’.

However, in the rescue world, this return to normalcy has actually layered in more challenges as we scramble to deal with the repercussions of the ‘pandemic pup’ phenomenon.

Throughout 2020, while Canada was stuck at home, it seemed that everybody wanted a dog. The demand for dogs skyrocketed as people sought companionship or finally had the time/resources to dedicate to a dog.

In some circumstances this is as wonderful as it sounds – many dogs found their forever family. However, this same demand also led to some very unfortunate scenarios where dogs were being exploited as a source of profit.

In 2020 and still today, we have seen an exponential increase in people breeding their dogs as a means of income. With money being the sole motivator, we have observed that this has often been done at the expense of the mama dog’s well-being, and without the due process that legitimate breeders will use – puppies are simply being pumped out and sold at an insanely inflated cost.

And it wasn’t just “breeders” who seized upon this opportunity to make a buck – there were a number of disreputable rescues that popped up, selling dogs for personal profit without properly attending to medical/behavioral concerns or matching dogs and owners.

When issues subsequently arose, these so-called rescues were nowhere to be found, and so we heard from the distraught owners instead.

Throughout 2021, we have experienced an absolutely massive surge in surrender requests: Dogs with health issues, dogs with behavioural problems, dogs that have grown up and are no longer cute puppies, dogs that cost money, and most of all dogs who no longer fit into their owner’s plans now that they can go out and about and do as they please.

It is very sad to see people’s desperation to adopt a dog replaced by a desperation to get rid of it, now that they have better things to do.

We are doing absolutely everything we can to remedy this wave of unwanted dogs –we are taking in as many dogs as we can, but we need help.

We need volunteers, foster homes, and donations to continue. If you are considering adopting a dog, please do your due diligence and research to ensure it is coming from a legitimate source that prioritizes the needs of the dog over profit.

And remember that when you adopt a dog, it is not just for now, it is forever.

If you cannot make a lifetime commitment, please consider sticking to indoor plants or sourdough starters if you’re bored at home instead.

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