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Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society: Orvis Dog Enrichment Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Adoption of animals who had been in foster care long-term.

We were able to waive the adoption fees for four dogs and two cats so that they could be placed into loving forever homes.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Shadow (first photo) was surrendered to us by a man who said he was going to shoot her because he could not travel all the way to Ontario with her. We begged him to surrender her to our vet, Rimbey Vet Clinic, and we would find her a foster home immediately. We saw that she was spayed, vaccinated and microchipped prior to being welcomed into her loving foster home. Shadow was offered for adoption about six weeks later. Unfortunately the applicants were unsuccessful in the first 24 hours of having her, so we reclaimed her. Upon seeing her foster parents, she was ecstatic, but untrusting for 10 days. Then it was July 1st weekend and the neighbors set off fireworks. Shadow had a meltdown despite her family being home. It took her another two weeks to regain her confidence. Her foster family began discussing adopting her, but could not afford her fee due to the economic downturn. We were able to offer them a subsidy because of the Petfinder Foundation’s generous grant. Shadow is adored by her family and her doggy brother Timber, also a rescue.

Jake Jr. (second photo) was surrendered to us by a family that could not deal with his quirky behavior. They told us he growled and snapped, etc. He was approximately 10 weeks old when we welcomed him to the Serenity family. His first foster home could not deal with him either, though they liked him. Their older dog was singularly unimpressed! Luckily enough, an experienced foster family stepped up to foster him. They have a big older dog who is very patient, and a new chapter began for Jake Jr. He adjusted so well, and was so accepted, quirks and all, he was invited to stay! Jake Jr. is a very happy, loved puppy who has lost most of his fear of people.

Willow (third photo) was rescued having been identified by her person as a problem. The problem was, she was in heat and the male dogs were attacking each other in the remote community in which we were rescuing. Willow had a bad eye as well. She was taken for examination that very Saturday night, and arrangements were made for her to be spayed ASAP. Her new foster mom greeted her and took her home. The next day, Willow left by digging out, and it took a village and six hours to find her again. It seems she was confused and eventually just sat down and waited for a warm car to fetch her!

The following Tuesday, she went in for spay surgery. The surgery was the most difficult one our experienced vet had ever encountered because Willow’s insides were a mess. The mess was created by her having multiple litters of pups, and likely from being kicked repeatedly. Her eye condition was diagnosed as a genetic difficulty causing frequent discharge and requiring daily care.

Flash forward to Sept. 11, one year after rescue, and there is Willow, in her foster parents’ wedding party, dutifully being the ring bearer! She is adored and wanted! Her foster parents asked if there was a way to keep her in the family. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for making this possible. Willow is now 5 years old, happy, and beautifully healthy.

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