Dogs rescued from the floods of Hurricane Harvey will be coming across the border to Langley, looking for new homes.
Cindy Archer runs a small non-profit called Black Dog Rescue out of her Langley City home. With the help of local volunteers who foster dogs, she’s brought about 1,600 dogs from Houston over the last five years.
Now, the large numbers of dogs abandoned, lost, or flooded out means Archer and her fellow volunteers are planning to bring up many more dogs.
“They’ve got nowhere for the dogs to go,” said Archer.
Shelters and foster homes in the Houston area flooded. Dogs were abandoned and have been rescued from the flooded areas by volunteers. Now many are sitting in crates or the crowded remaining shelters.
Existing shelter dogs need to be cleared out to make room for the hundreds of dogs rescued from the floods. If no one takes them in, many could be put down. Archer will be bringing many of these last-chance dogs north to make way for the flood of lost dogs in need of Houston shelter space.
Archer expects 10 to 20 to come up in the next group brought to Langley, and up to 75 in the near future.
Hurricane Harvey is just the latest reason for Archer to bring in dogs from Texas.
She started five years ago fostering dogs from Houston after reading about the high number of dogs euthanized in the state.
“They euthanized 3.3 million dogs last year in the state of Texas,” Archer said.
There are too many dogs in the area, many not spayed or neutered, which adds to the population. Some people are too poor to pay the $80 fee to get their dogs out of the pound. New dogs and puppies are often found dumped, sometimes in trash bags.
All kinds of dogs come up to Canada, including pit bulls, a border collie, chihuahuas, and a schnauzer in the last group Archer brought to the Lower Mainland.
She has built up connections with a number of Houston-based rescue organizations and vets over the years. Their cross-border network identifies dogs that are close to being put down, and then moves them north.
Archer picks them up in Washington State and deals with Canadian customs. It costs about $30 per dog to cross the border, and all the dogs must have their shots, be microchipped, and be spayed or neutered either before or soon after arriving in Canada.
Once they’re here, Black Dog Rescue finds them new homes, and fosters or boards them until then.
Some of the dogs already have prospective homes before they even arrive.
Typically, their dogs come from the “kill lists” that are dogs about to be put down.
Archer is currently planning a trip down south to directly pick up dogs, with so many in need of rescue. She’s hoping that someone in the Lower Mainland can donate the use of some vans to use for the long trip down and back.
Anyone interested in helping can visit the group’s Facebook page by searching Black Dog Rescue Group Surrey, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.