Special member Badger taking a break during the NWAS 13th annual AGM.
Preparing for the AGM is always a time to reflect on what we have done since the last meeting. It is a time to say thanks to those who have helped us along the way. The following is a summary from the various reports from the AGM:
Presidents Report Synopsis:
We have had another busy year! In July 2013 we received a grant of $7,000 from the Wetzin'kwa Community Forest Corporation to construct an Isolation-Wash Unit. This unit will allow us to keep at risk animals separate from the general population. It will also allow us to wash animals that come in. Construction of the unit commenced in May 2014, when 4 friends from Burnaby came up to build, build, build. Gordie Watts, one of the Burnaby 4, has done several projects with Habitat for Humanity. This left us with the dilemma of what to call this project - Habitat for Hounds and Felines? Fortunately lack of a catchy name did not hinder the construction, and the group managed to get a lot done during the 5 days they were here. A big thank you to the Wetzin'kwa Community Forest Corp, the Burnaby 4 - Gordon Watts, Randy Mottus, Ken Oliver, and Jim Pozar. Also thanks to our regular construction team, most notably Thomas Roper and Wayne Couture.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to another group that has provided tremendous support - The Lakeview Foundation. Quite simply, we could not maintain the level of service we provide without their generous support.
Many animals have passed through our hands in the past year. They don't always come into our care in the best of circumstances. We thank Babine Animal Hospital and Bulkley Valley Vet Clinic for all their support . We thank them for saying yes to the call, we have a dog coming in covered in quills, or one that has been run over and has a mangled leg. We thank them for providing support to our Spay Neuter Assistance program, as there would be no program without them. This program is important in stopping animals from being born into neglect and abuse.
We thank the team of volunteers that have helped out this past year. We now have an adoption administrator, and a volunteer co-ordinator. We also have a team of dedicated volunteers taking shifts at the shelter, but can always use more! We also have some dedicated and knowledgeable foster homes. It is no small matter to open your home to a creature in need, care for them, and then give them up so they can have a family of their own. The wealth of information we receive about an animal in foster care is vital to re-homing an animal, and cannot be found in a shelter environment alone.
Another vital member of our team is our Caretaker. I can honestly say when I leave the shelter I have no worries about the animals - I know they have the best care possible from a very experienced and caring person.
We also acknowledge and appreciate the support of local business, such as Mainerz and Sedaz Lingerie, The Interior News, Moose FM, All-West Glass, Outdoor Essentials, Smithers Feed, Doug-Duz-It, and the Bulkley Valley Credit Union to name a few. Also all the businesses that allow our donation boxes on their counters.
Rescue Report Synopsis
Our Numbers (since last AGM)
-We began the year with 7 dogs in our care, and end the year with 10.
-Of these 10; 4 are in foster homes, 3 are in homes on a trial-to-adopt, and 3 are currently housed at the shelter.
-Not counting the Town of Smithers pound dogs that were claimed by their owners, we have had a total of 75 dogs through our hands this past year.
-We have reunited 10 of these dogs, two quite badly injured and two having been spayed, with their families.
-A total of 23 dogs were adopted into homes by Northwest volunteers; 1 in Dease Lake, 3 in the Hazeltons, 8 in the Smithers area, 6 in the Telkwa area, 1 to Houston, 1 to Prince George, and 3 to Vancouver.
(For the Vancouver adoptions, trusted rescue contacts from the lower mainland have done home checks and have pledged support for the dogs and the adoptive families if needed.)
-A total of 30 dogs have been shipped to outside groups.
-We began the year with 15 cats in our care, and we end the year with 14.
-Of those 14, 4 are in foster care, 2 are waiting to go into homes on a trial-to-adopt, and 8 are housed at the shelter.
-We have had a total of 90 cats in our care this past year.
-5 were strays who we managed to reunite with their families, one as far away as Gabriola Island.
-1 mother was spayed and returned to her owner to stop ongoing littering.
-20 were rehomed locally; 17 in the Smithers area, 2 in the Telkwa area, and 1 into Houston.
-And 46 were shipped to the amazing rescue group, Action for Animals of Burnaby.
SNAP Report Synopsis
The SNAP program is designed to support limited income individuals and families, as well as area rescuers. The expenses are based on three way equal participation from the pet owner, the veterinary clinics and the NWAS. The participation of Babine Animal Hospital and the Bulkley Valley Vet Clinic are crucial to the success of this program and we are very grateful to them.
To date, the SNAP program has spayed or neutered 1,021 cats, and altered 609 dogs, to make a total of 1,630 animals from Houston to Kitwanga and all the communities in between.
Between October 2013 and October 2014, 201 animals (120 cats and 81 dogs) have been spayed or neutered under SNAP.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of puppies and kittens have not been born due to this program. We are also grateful for the support received from the Kensington Foundation for their support of this program.
For Adoption or Foster
The NWAS has several wonderful animals available for adoption. If you are thinking of adding to your family, or opening your heart and home up for a foster situation, contact
. Check out our animals for adoption under Animals in Need. We are currently revising our adoption fees for kittens and puppies, increasing the allocation towards spay and neuter. More information will follow.
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. 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: