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In November 2009, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Laurentides-Labelle (SPCA LL) in Quebec rescued 97 sled dogs from the woods in the Upper Laurentians. The dogs were being kept on a large rented lot near a forest. According to rescuers on scene, many of the dogs were kept on very short chains, in need of medical treatment and without access to running water.
With the help of the Humane Society of the United States and United Animal Nations, the dogs were brought to an emergency shelter, where they received the medical care that they needed. Many were dehydrated and required treatment for parasites. Ten of the dogs were blind or almost blind, and 30 females were pregnant. The SPCA LL adoption center in Ste-Agathe kept 20 of the dogs and used $10,000 in funding from PetSmart Charities® for their care and continued treatment. Additionally, 23 puppies born to the dogs in the SPCA LL’s care significantly increased the organization’s responsibility.
In January, the SPCA LL organized a special adoption day for the 25 puppies. There was no difficulty finding them homes, along with several of the adults from the seizure in the shelter’s care, including Xena and Brownie.
Xena was one of the most severely affected dogs of the pack. She remained extremely fearful throughout and even after the rescue, when she was first taken in by a volunteer. Under her care, Xena gradually gained confidence and grew calm. A woman in Virginia (U.S.) heard about Xena and was deeply touched by her story. She drove up to Ste-Agathe-des-Monts – a 14-hour drive – to adopt Xena. Today, Xena is doing very well with her new family.
Like the other dogs, Brownie spent a week in an emergency shelter, where he was fed regularly and received proper vet care. Then he was transferred at the SPCA LL adoption center where Malka Benjamin, a woman from Montreal, was one of numerous animal lovers who wanted to meet him. Benjamin visited the SPCA LL adoption center and knew that Brownie was a perfect match for her. On their first walk together outside, Brownie kept his tail between his legs, but Benjamin knew she was ready to help him adjust to his new life.
Brownie got a new name in his new home: Wylie. He quickly got used to his leash and found his favorite spot in a window overlooking the nearby park. He also became friends with Benjamn’s daughters’ dogs. “Overall, Wylie is a very sweet dog,” Benjamin said. “He’s smart, affectionate and loves to get belly rubs. I’m glad I adopted him!”