Community members of all ages – along with their dogs of all sizes – gathered at the Maple Ridge SPCA Sunday, raising funds and awareness for the provincial organization during the annual Paws for a Cause walk.
Local residents and their pooches enjoyed face painting, a kissing booth, and bobbing for hot dogs, in addition to a walk through Albion Park.
Funds raised will benefit the organization’s programs and services.
Each year, the BC SPCA conducts thousands of animal cruelty investigations, with the rescued animals being cared for by staff and eventually adopted through the organization’s adoption program.
And after a stroll through the park, a group of puppies rescued by the organization got to have an unexpected reunion.
Labradoodle’s Ranger, Morgan and Barkley were only 10 days old when they were seized by the BC SPCA from a puppy mill in Langley back in February.
Their mom, Ivory, was also one of the 66 dogs rescued in the seizure, and brought back to the Maple Ridge branch.
BC SPCA shelter and veterinary staff worked around the clock to address the animals’ serious medical and psychological issues – including Ivory’s seizures and malnourishment, her owner Sue Gagne told The TIMES.
And in March and April, as each puppy was adopted to their forever homes at different times, the owners never got the chance to meet and stay in touch, until Sunday’s Paws for a Cause event.
While the reunited siblings played, owners Gagne, Vicky Howe, Stephanie Larbalestier, and Jasmine Elder exchanged photos, and anecdotes of each puppy getting used to their new home.
“I always wanted her to see her puppies,” Gagne explained. “It’s so cool.”
For Elder, owner of Ranger, it brought a nice sense of closure following all that her dog had been through.
Elder and her family travelled from North Delta for the walk.
“It’s awesome,” she continued.
All the owners, who for the most part live in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, exchanged contact information so they can arrange to meet again, Howe said.
Ultimately, the reunion proved that “dogs adopted from bad situations become happy,” Gagne concluded.
See more photos from the event here.