~ Sobia Moman
Céline Rytz leads with passion in all of her endeavours, from helping dogs to mentoring young athletes.
Rytz is a veterinarian assistant but wants pet owners to have access to resources outside of clinic hours. She is taking her love of dogs and turning it into a first aid business, called B.A.R.K. which stands for backcountry aid and rescue kits.
Rytz enjoys dog sledding and has also worked as a tree planter for a decade. These ventures often take place in remote areas where vet care is not close by. For this reason, Rytz wants all pet owners to know how to care for their furry friends when left to their own devices.
“Hopefully it would never have to come to a life or death situation, but it very well could be where an owner is able to save their dog’s life from the skills and the training and the tools that they’ve received through this idea,” Rytz said.
She also works with HEART dog rescue, which is an organization that removes dogs from unsafe situations in isolated communities in Western Canada. The dogs they save are rehomed in parts of the Kootenay region.
“It’s just endless, the number of dogs that need to be homed. It’s been great to see how many people want to jump in and open their homes to foster dogs which includes some puppies but also older dogs who have a history of abuse and trauma,” Rytz said.
Taking away their animals is not what Rytz wants to do, which is why she hopes to reach these communities with her business. She is planning classes soon that will teach owners how to use the care kits.
“It’s a very neglected part of Canada as far as resources, especially for vet medicine. It’s very rare that a vet would visit these types of communities,” Rytz said.
Skiing has been a part of Rytz’s life from an early age. She was an NCAA ski athlete throughout post-secondary school and now is the head coach for the U12 ski team. She wanted to be the woman role model for other young female athletes that she was lucky to have when she was in their shoes.
“It’s a very male-dominated sport with coaching as well. I had a lot of male coaches but I had one coach growing up in Fernie who was a girl who was just the absolute coolest in the whole world to me,” Rytz said.
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