In 2013 the NWAS received a grant from the Wetzin'Kwa Community Forest Corporation to construct an Isolation/Wash Unit, where at risk animals can be segregated and animals cleaned as needed. The Community Grant Program was established to distribute profits from the operation of the Wetzin'kwa Community Forest tenure back into the community.The program's objective is to provide support for a broad range of projects and initiatives that will return the greatest long-term benefit to Bulkley Valley residents. WCFC takes its name from the Wet’suwet’en word Wetzin’kwa, which means “flowing blue green or clear waters” and refers to the river flowing from Morice Lake to Hazelton, or the Morice and Bulkley rivers.
The construction has begun, and as usual, we rely on our volunteers to help us operate and get projects off the ground. In May the NWAS was fortunate to have 4 friends from the lower mainland come and kickstart the construction: Gordon Watts, Randy Mottus, Jim Pozer and Ken Oliver. After 5 days of effort, the shell was constructed, and the tin on the roof! NWAS regular volunteers Tom Roper, Wayne Couture, Jean O'Sullivan, Lorna Walker and Sara Tomlinson also participated.
Chris Brooks leveling gravel delivered by Steti Transport
Ken, Tom, Wayne, Gord, Jim and Randy - Habitat for Hounds and Cats
The Northwest Animal Shelter is a volunteer run organization. We do our best to help where we can, but do not have the resources to assist in every situation. The NWAS spends thousands of dollars on vet bills annually. For the period December 1 to the end of February 2014 almost $10,000 was paid for medical treatments - this includes the costs related to our SNAP (Spay neuter assistance) program. It is rare where the owners are found and able to pay the vet bills, like Griffen pictured above. We rely on the support of the community to continue our work. Donations are greatly appreciated and can be made at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, or mailed to Box 3064 in Smithers.
Bringing a companion animal into your home should not be done lightly, it is a commitment of years. Animals require regular veterinary care to keep them healthy. They need to be fed nutritious food, and be kept safe and warm. An identification tag on a collar is the best way to get your friend back, if he gets lost. Spaying or neutering your pet keeps them healthy, and helps keep them from wandering. It also helps reduce the number of abandoned or neglected animals, as there are not enough homes for them all.
Northwest Animal Shelter - work in progress!
While still helping animals, running our SNAP program, we will be working on the shelter again soon. We are constructing a much needed storage area, and hope to get the septic system installed this summer. Landscaping, fencing, clearing, painting and other projects are ongoing. Continued community support is critical in our ability to help animals going forward. Donations of construction materials would be greatly appreciated, and volunteers to help out. Fundraising is essential. All animals in our care are vet checked, vaccinated and fixed if required. We also have a mortgage to pay, and other operating costs.
There are several ways to help out - consider fostering an animal in need. Foster homes are essential in our operation, as our capacity remains small. More is learned about an animal in a foster situation, which can help in finding the best fit with an adoptive home.
Show support by taking out a membership, which not only provides dollars for our programs - a strong membership base gives us credibility when applying for grants. Donation receipts are given for membership donations, more information is available under the "Help Us" tab above.
If you are interested in getting involved, we need help with fostering and taking animals to the airport or vet appointments. We need $$ do maintain our programs and develop the shelter property of course, so any fundraising efforts would be gratefully appreciated. E-mail us at
with any ideas of how you can help.
For more information about the Northwest Animal Shelter Society visit www.nwas.ca. Donations to support this project can be made at any Bulkley Valley Credit Union, deposited directly into the account of the Northwest Animal Shelter Society. Mailing address Box 3064, Smithers, BC V0J 2N0.
Have you LIKED us on Facebook or do you follow us on Twitter? We need your social media connections to create a larger audience for our homeless animals to reach people who may be looking for a new family pet - and to help spread animal welfare education including the need for spay/neuter in this northern area with few resources. If we can get a handle on overpopulation, the less animals being born means that many will have a greater chance to find a home.
Are you looking for a certain dog or a particular breed. Please don't buy from a pet store as they usually get animals from puppy mills. Click here to read about what a puppy mill is. There are puppy mills in our area churning out puppies for profit. If you buy from them, you are keeping them in business. Don't be fooled by fancy brochures and cute puppies. Puppy mill operators rely on the 'cute' factor to make money, and their breeding females suffer through litter after litter because of it.
Contrary to popular belief, loads of purebred and breed specific dogs can be found at rescue groups like ours - from puppies to fully grown. Visit www.petfinder.com and do a search. Also, let us know what you are looking for so we can keep an eye out for you. Sometimes we have dogs in our care that are not on the website - need grooming or vet care etc., or that we are planning to ship to other rescues.
Other things we do
- Support several individuals who are involved in animal rescue with spay and neuter services, postings on our website and appeals for food, foster homes etc.
- Spay and Neuter Assistance Program: We work with Babine Pet Hospital and BV Vet Clinic to provide financial help to individuals and families who cannot afford the full cost to spay or neuter their own pets.
- Spay and Neuter education through our posters, advertising, website and quarterly newsletter to members.
- Humane animal education & visits to local schools.
- Pet and health care counseling; training referrals
- Complimentary lost and found postings on our website.
- Provide free feral mousers to responsible farmers who request them.
We are a tiny group of volunteers, most with full-time jobs who devote considerable personal time and effort to this charity, we will do our best to help you with a lost or homeless animal but sometimes we simply run out of options, especially for placing cats. We do not have a dedicated phone number but we check our e-mail every day: