Click on the first image to scroll through a collection of photos from our Kitten Roundup on July 26. Many thanks to volunteer Janet for photographing the event and creating this fun photo diary for us! Since the Roundup, many of the cats and kittens we rescued have been spayed or neutered and have found loving homes. We were pretty nervous in the days leading up to the Roundup because we’d never done anything like it before but it ended up being a huge success and we can’t wait to do it again next year!
This year LAPS staff will care for over 800 dogs. About 80% of them will go home to their families but plenty will stick around and begin the next stage of their life’s journey with us. While it’s true that we sometimes get young, healthy, highly adoptable dogs through our doors, more often than not the dogs who stay with us have a story to tell. Perhaps they have some sort of expensive medical condition or a few behavioural quirks that make them challenging to live with…we’ve seen it all!
Take ridiculously adorable Edna, for example. This sweet senior Pug is a hilarious, snorty, snuggly bundle of love. She’s also great with cats and other dogs. Who wouldn’t want her?!
Her previous owner, that’s who. That’s because Edna is a bit of a medical lemon. The poor old gal is covered in itchy, thickened dark skin thanks to years of untreated allergies. She’s got massive ear infections in both ears and the smell coming off her…well, let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a small, enclosed room with her. Whew! But that’s all about to change…For the first time in years, Edna is getting proper medical attention and boy, is she feeling good! We’re fixing her up with help from Paws & Claws, one of our partner vets, and someone will be very lucky when she’s ready to find her forever family.
Money and Josh are another great example, although more on the behavioural side of things. These two gorgeous German Shepherds turn heads wherever they go and people can’t believe they’re still here. They’re great dogs but they arrived at LAPS with very little life experience and in desperate need of a few doggy manners. They’ve come a long way but they’re looking for a very specific, very special home to call their own and these things take time. While they wait, their trainer Gwen is hard at work teaching them the skills they need to be great companions for their future family.
These dogs are just three examples of the many “special needs” dogs that we see. They need a little bit extra in terms of medical care or training and as a result, will often end up taking much longer to be adopted. It’s always a celebration when we wave them off with their new families and we’re extremely grateful to the people who welcome them into their lives. As I’m sure you can imagine, the longer we care for them and the more we discover their likes, dislikes and all the little quirks that make them unique and special, the harder it is to say goodbye. We’re so fortunate that we have the time, space and resources to find perfect homes for our special pooches. The follow up phone calls and emails, full of happy stories and big, doggy grins, fill our hearts and keep us going. Their original owners they might have thought they were too expensive or too much work but we know these dogs are worth every penny and every second spent on them!
This year LAPS has cared for over 30 puppies and well over 150 kittens and it’s only the beginning of August! It’s been a super busy year for us and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. Last Saturday, our numbers swelled by more than 40 during our first ever Kitten Roundup, an event that allowed Langley residents to drop off unwanted kittens and pregnant moms at the shelter, no questions asked. We also gave out a bunch of free spay/neuter vouchers hopes of reducing next year’s crop of unwanted kittens. The event was born after several litters of kittens were discovered abandoned in boxes and Rubbermaid containers around Langley. We’re proud to report that (with great support from our volunteers, foster parents and from both our online and local communities) the whole thing was a huge success and deserves a post of its own (coming soon!).
While we were busy getting organized and dealing with the aftermath of a sudden influx of kittens and cats, we received a huge surprise. Tuesday morning a lovely German Shorthaired Pointer named Phoebe went to the vet for what we thought would be a routine spay. She came back to the shelter that afternoon with her uterus intact and some big news. You can probably guess what the news was…Yep, Phoebe’s pregnant! We’re not sure how many puppies are in there but she’s going back to the vet next week for an x-ray, so we’ll share any updates with you then.
Although we know we’re going to find wonderful homes for all the kittens and puppies in our care, it’s always a bit sad for us to realize just how many un-spayed and un-neutered animals are out there roaming around. The ones who come to us are lucky – they will be well cared for and loved and when the time is right, they’ll find a fantastic new family. But there are many out there who are not so fortunate and it breaks our hearts to think of the many dogs and cats who don’t receive the care they and their babies need. If you love kittens and puppies as much as we do, there is a solution…… but we need help spreading the word! One of the easiest ways for people to save the lives of hundreds of dogs and cats is to simply spay or neuter one. That’s all it takes! If you need help getting your cat or kitten spayed or neutered and live in Langley, contact LAPS. If you are not a Langley resident contact your local shelter. Many shelters have spay/neuter programs and can help you make it happen.
Where did Rosie and her puppies come from?
Rosie was picked up as a stray in a nearby community. When she arrived at their shelter, the staff suspected she was pregnant and sent her in for x-rays. Sure enough, she was carrying nine puppies and looked like she was ready to pop any day. She had her puppies in the other shelter but they don’t have the space or resources to care for such a large litter. They contacted us to see if we could help out and just like that, we are now the proud caregivers to the lovely new family.
What breed are they?
Rosie appears to be a Lab mix but the puppies could be anything! One has brown points like a Rottweiler, so maybe dad was a Rottie or Rottie mix. We have no way to really know but guessing is part of the fun of mixed-breed dogs!
It’s tricky figuring out who’s who with so many black puppies! There are six males and three females and all the boys are black or black and white. Staffers Lneya and Spencer have kindly put together a poster with names and photos so everyone can put names to the ridiculously adorable faces but it can still be tough to tell if you can’t see their white patches or collars.
When were the puppies born?
May 21, 2014.
How do I adopt a puppy?
If you’re interested in adopting, please call the shelter at 604-857-5055 and ask to speak to a trainer. We are conducting interviews now and will be giving applications to suitable candidates. We will be giving out more applications than there are puppies, so filling out an application does not guarantee that you will get to adopt a puppy.
When will the puppies be going to their new homes?
The puppies will be ready to go on July 16.
Will you be setting up a live cam?
We don’t have a way to safely set up a camera in the area the puppies are living in, so we will not be doing a live cam for this litter. We’ll try to take regular videos and photos and share their development on our Facebook page and blog.
LAPS is excited to be part of the “No Hot Pets” (www.nohotpets.ca) campaign, created by the Ontario SPCA. Animal welfare organizations across Canada are participating in an effort to remind pet owners of the dangers of leaving pets unattended in a vehicle during the hot summer months.
Over the coming months, we’ll be spreading the word and we’d love it if you got involved! Click here to download some posters and leaflets about the risks that come with leaving pets in vehicles. You can share these around the community and help keep more pets safe during the summer months. You can also make an online pledge to not leave your pet in your vehicle. It only takes a minute and you’ll receive a No Hot Pets window decal. With your help, more people will leave their pets safe at home during the heat of the day.
If you do see an animal suffering in the heat, contact your local SPCA, Humane Society, or the police. Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat and even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening.
Wednesday was another one of those crazy days, although to be honest, those “crazy” days are actually pretty normal around here! It started with a teeny, tiny new addition – a three-day-old kitten found alone on a property in Langley. Bottle raising a newborn kitten is always daunting – with round the clock care needed for weeks on end, there’s no such thing as a good night’s sleep or a social life –but it’s tougher when it’s such a young kitten with no mom or siblings. It’s not uncommon for single newborn kittens to simply fail to thrive and the thought of losing another baby was very difficult, especially for the staff members who were here when Money’s puppies passed away. Staffer Lneya knew that hearts were still raw and offered to take the kitten, now named Miles, and nurse him through those first touch and go days. Fortunately, Miles took to the bottle like a champ and is determined to hang in there. Lneya is the kitten whisperer around here and the rest of us get to enjoy our uninterrupted night’s sleep knowing he’s in the best possible hands!
Shortly after Miles arrived, a man showed up with five kittens in a box. They’d been born is his barn about a month ago and their mom disappeared earlier this week. The man hoped the mom would return and was feeding the kittens milk and tuna while they waited in vain for their mom to come back to them. Although the man was trying to do his best for these babies, kittens aren’t able to get the nutrients they need from cow’s milk and two were in very poor shape by the time they got to us. Three were still pretty roly poly but we could feel the jutting ribs and spines of the female brown tabby when we pet her. As for the fifth little black and white kitten…well, we were worried that she wouldn’t survive long enough to get her to the vet for treatment and even then, we thought she might just be too far gone.
Apparently we had forgotten that we have a miracle worker on our team. When we called Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Ferguson told us to bring them in right away. Foster mom Shannon, who was ready and waiting to take on a new kitty family, rushed the whole group to the clinic where Dr. F and her staff went to work right away. After oxygen, IV fluids, good food and some time on a heating pad, the black and white kitten, dubbed Prism, began to come around. She was going to need very diligent medical care for the next little while, so Dr. Ferguson sent the four healthier kittens (Breeze, Aura, Sky and Rev) home with Shannon and took on the task of nursing Prism herself. Although Dr. Ferguson says Prism isn’t out of the woods yet, she’s still hanging on thanks to regular subQ fluids, around-the-clock syringe feeding, and the love of one truly amazing vet. We can’t even describe how much Dr. Ferguson does for us without falling back on clichés but we honestly don’t know what we’d do without her. She and her wonderful staff have improved the lives of many, many animals in the ten short months that we’ve been working together and we are so grateful that she agreed to become one of our veterinary partners.
Teamwork is important in any workplace but it seems especially important when you’re doing the work that we do here. We’re very lucky to have each other to lean on through good times and bad and to be surrounded by so many fantastic vets, volunteers and our online family. It truly takes a village to save these animals and they are so worth it!
PS. You can watch these guys grow up at https://www.facebook.com/cutefosterkittens .
Money and her pal, Josh, were picked up as strays by a LAPS Animal Control Officer. Their owner passed away last year and their new guardian was having a difficult time keeping them contained. When we contacted them they decided that they did not want to come pick the dogs up.
When did you first realize Money was pregnant?
Money came in with an intact male dog and wasn’t spayed, so we thought there was a good chance she was pregnant. We made sure to treat her as though she was pregnant – not vaccinating, not treating her ears with heavy duty meds, and so on – and after a couple of weeks passed we sent her in for an exam and x-rays. Sure enough, three little puppies showed up on the x-ray. Their skeletons had just formed, so Dr. Ferguson thought there might be more babies in there. We checked again in 10 days and discovered that Money was carrying at least seven little bundles of joy.
How old is Money? Is this her first litter?
Money is two years old. We suspect that this is her first litter but have no way to know for sure.
The puppies were born on April 17, 2014. We will likely begin taking applications in the next week and will post it on our Facebook page and website.
The puppies look so similar that it can be tricky to tell them apart, so we’ve put different coloured ribbons on each one.
Peso = blue
Kip = green
Rupee = sparkly white
Do you know why Tuppence, Kiwi, Lire and Sterling passed away?
We strongly suspect that there was some sort of genetic abnormality at play. The other three puppies are thriving with minimal assistance and even with round-the-clock care and supplemental feeding, Lire and Sterling just couldn’t pull through. The four puppies who didn’t make it were smaller at birth and failed to gain weight day-to-day unless we were tube feeding them.
Is Josh the father of the puppies? Is he really Money’s brother?
There’s a lot of speculation floating around but we haven’t been able to confirm either of these questions one way or the other. Money and Josh are from the same property and are the same age, so it’s possible that they’re related but nothing is definite. It’s also possible that he’s the father of her puppies but again, we have no way of being 100% positive.
Is Money a purebred German Shepherd? Are the puppies purebred?
She is! Money has a breeder’s tattoo and is registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. As for the puppies – who knows! They look like German Shepherd puppies but as we say so often, we have no way to know for sure. And of course, we love them either way!
When will Money go up for adoption?
Once Money’s puppies are weaned her trainer will spend lots of one-on-one time with her to figure out what kind of home would be best suited for her. We don’t have a date that she’ll be available yet but we’ll keep you posted.
LAPS staff were obviously devastated when the four puppies passed away. What can we do to help?
Losing four of Money’s puppies was tragic and absolutely heartbreaking for everyone involved. It was a very difficult week for all of us and we were blown away by the kindness and support of our amazing online family. We are so happy that Money’s three remaining puppies are thriving and that we can enjoy the time we have left with them. We know every day when we come to work that heartbreak is always a possibility and although we love and remember all the animals we care for, we can’t dwell on the losses for too long or we’d never be able to keep saving lives. There is always someone else who needs us and we never know what’s right around the bend.
Many wonderful people have asked what they can do to help us cope with the losses and for us the best gift would be for everyone to continue to support Money and her babies so we can do our very best for them and get them started on their way to the wonderful lives they deserve. You can donate online here to help with the costs associated with raising this beautiful little family. You can also check out our Amazon Wish List or our website wish list if you’d like to send something special for Money’s pups or any of our other animals.
Every donation helps but we don’t want people to panic about the costs of Money’s veterinary care – we are very fortunate to have to support of Dr. Ferguson and Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, who have been extremely generous and have given us a massive discount on all their services.
During National Volunteer Week, organizations across Canada are saying “Thank you!” to the thousands of committed volunteers who give their time to diverse causes and projects all over the country. At LAPS, this has been a great time for us to think about what exactly our volunteers allow us to do.
You may have heard us talk about some of the unique programs LAPS offers. All of them, from animal enrichment to community outreach, are only possible because we have amazing volunteers behind us every step of the way. Life for the staff and animals of LAPS would be very different if our volunteers weren’t part of the LAPS family.
Regular exercise, good company and cozy housing help keep shelter animals healthier and happier while they wait for their new families to find them and LAPS has taken special measures to make sure that all the dogs and cats in our care get these little extras. What makes programs like these possible? You guessed it – volunteers! Our volunteers are at the shelter 365 days a year. Not a single day goes by without at least a few volunteers coming by to lend a hand. They may get soaked to the skin while walking dogs or covered in cat hair and canned food while caring for our feline friends but they’re here because they know how much the animals depend on them. If we ever mention that a particular dog or cat seems stressed or bored, we know for sure that they will get extra play time and some extra cuddles to boot. No matter how much time and effort they put in, when the need arises our volunteers can always find it in their hearts to give a little more.
And it’s not just dog walking and cat care. Our volunteers scrub kennels, answer phones, and poop scoop. They attend events, spread the words about LAPS and help us educate the community on topics near and dear to our hearts. They sacrifice their evenings and weekends without hesitation to give animals-in-need a little love and comfort and a second chance at a happy life. They give up the possibility of a full night’s sleep or a social life to bottle feed kittens and provide them with a good start to their lives. They complete thankless tasks with a smile because they know that every little thing they do truly makes a difference.
From fostering kittens to administrative work, there’s not a single thing we do that isn’t touched by the hand and heart of a volunteer. We can’t even begin to thank them for their unwavering compassion and dedication but we hope they are aware of how extraordinary their contributions are.
It’s been quite an interesting couple of weeks with Soda Pop, Gumball and their babies!
In the middle of March, our Head Animal Care Attendant, Kayla, noticed a suspicious looking lesion on Soda Pop’s neck. It didn’t look like much but any unusual hair loss makes us think the worst – ringworm. Ringworm is a fungus that’s highly contagious to people, cats and dogs (most LAPS staff have had it at some point or another) so it’s always best to err on the side of caution whenever ringworm is suspected. We immediately quarantined the room they were living in and sent mama Soda Pop off to Paws and Claws Animal Hospital for a fungassay.
Since both of our dedicated isolation rooms were in use (one by a cat with confirmed ringworm and one by a cat with suspected ringworm), we had to try our best to isolate the moms and kittens in their current location, which happened to be our Manager of Animal Welfare’s office. Jayne couldn’t get into her office and had to work upstairs in the boardroom for the entire time that the little family was in isolation! On the plus side, the boardroom does have a window unlike her office!
That was the beginning of several long weeks of gloves, gowns and stepping in foot baths. Every task takes much longer to complete and since Jayne’s office isn’t fully stocked like our iso rooms, if we forgot something when we went into the quarantined room, we either had to remove all our protective gear, disinfect our hands and feet and start all over again, or hope that someone would pass by and grab whatever it was we needed. No fun!
After about a week we started to feel fairly confident that Soda Pop didn’t have ringworm, even though Gumball had developed similar lesions. Both of the girls seemed very itchy and we suspected allergies but until the fungassay came back negative we weren’t taking any chances. We continued to clean and medicate the lesions and after a couple of weeks we got the good news – the fungassay was negative and as soon as the kittens were weaned we could start Soda Pop and Gumball on a hypoallergenic diet to combat the itchiness.
That one was one challenge down but there were more…several of the kittens had eye discharge and had been sneezing. Even though the ringworm scare was a false alarm, we still had to go through the whole glove and gown routine to protect our other cats from the Upper Respiratory Infection that the kittens were fighting. Most URI’s are caused by viruses, so all we can do is provide supportive care and nurse them through it. However, their goopy eyes were caused by a secondary bacterial infection and we could fight that with medicated eye drops. The drops kicked in fast and it was such a relief to see their little eyes clear up.
Fortunately, a little URI wasn’t enough to scare off their foster mom, Shannon of Cute Kittens. As soon as the fungassay came back negative, she was ready to take them back into foster care. She’d be able to continue their eye medication and isolate them in her bathroom until things cleared up entirely. It’s a lot of work for Shannon and we can’t thank her enough! You can watch the whole family on scheduled Livestream events here.
We received some other good news a few days before Soda got the all clear. Moira, our cat with confirmed ringworm, was finally negative! She was ready to come out of isolation and find a family – woo hoo! Michonne, the cat with suspected ringworm, was also negative and after some bloodwork she’ll be ready to go up for adoption, too! It’s been a good week.
We also have an update for those who were following our dear little Chiclet’s story. After he passed away, we received over $2000 in donations in his memory. People from around the world donated, from places as far as Great Britain and Texas. Their generosity will provide medical care for Chiclet’s family and will help them on their way to their forever homes and we are incredibly grateful for their support. Thank you!!
Sad news today…this morning, our little Chiclet passed away. Despite everyone’s best efforts, in the end he just wasn’t meant for this world and he passed in the home of Paws and Claws Animal Hospital’s Animal Health Technologist, Jen. Jen kindly offered to take him home yesterday afternoon because we were so worried he wasn’t going to make it. She fed and monitored him carefully throughout the night but she could see he wasn’t going to pull through and she called us this morning to let us know that Chiclet was no longer with us. Jen is heartbroken but we know Chiclet was in the best possible hands and are so grateful that she was willing to risk the heart break to give him a chance.
Chiclet had a rough start to his life but he was a fighter. For those who don’t know Chiclet, he was born in a cab on the way to the shelter. By the time he arrived, he was ice cold with the placenta still wrapped around his little body. We cut and tied off his umbilical cord, snuggled him up with some hot water bottles and a staff member carried him around inside her shirt until his body temperature came up. Kittens can’t self-regulate their body temperature so getting cold like that can be immediately fatal for a newborn but Chiclet was determined to stay with us.
Perhaps because she had such a stressful, traumatizing delivery, Chiclet’s mother, Gumball, wasn’t the most maternal mama and wasn’t producing much milk. Her other two kittens nurse from Soda Pop but Chiclet only had eyes for his mom and refused to nurse from his aunt. We syringe and tube fed him throughout the day to supplement the meager meals he was getting from his mom but Chiclet just couldn’t hold onto the weight. To put things in perspective, the average three week old kitten weighs about 12.3 ounces. His siblings are right on the mark but Chiclet was teeny tiny, weighing in at only 7.5 ounces. That’s about the size of a one week old kitten and was a sign that something was seriously wrong. Thanks to his already weakened immune system, he was also battling an upper respiratory infection with the help of antibiotics. It was a heavy load for a tiny kitten but we didn’t want to give up on Chiclet and held on to the hope that he might bounce back.
Tragically, all his struggles combined were just too much and we’ve had to say goodbye. Chiclet’s life was short but we hope he knew how loved he was. Thank you everyone for all your kind words and encouragement. It’s never easy to lose one of our babies but it helps knowing there are so many people out there who were rooting for him and who valued his little life so very much.