To celebrate the grand opening of the Big Lakes County Animal Care Facility, the County partnered with In The Woods Animal Rescue to help animals find their forever homes. The Adopt A Furry Friend Day was held on February 7, 2020, at the brand-new facility, located behind the administrative office in High Prairie.
“We had such a fantastic turnout, and it was nice to see so many puppies and dogs find homes,” said Big Lakes County Reeve Simard. “Big Lakes County is pleased to be able to provide a safe and clean facility for our staff and animals. We also appreciate the importance of animal care and the adoption service In The Woods Animal Rescue provides to our community. We are grateful for the strong partnership we have with them and look forward to its continuation in the future.”
The County utilized $300,000 of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), a provincial grant allocated through the Alberta Government to build the Animal Care Facility, which will be used by the County, the Town of High Prairie, and the High Prairie RCMP.
“The facility is efficiently designed to allow for proper cleaning and disinfecting,” said Mary Brust, Big Lakes County Animal Control Officer. “The floors are sloped for adequate drainage, and it’s equipped with washing stations for hands, dog dishes, and dogs. Proper ventilation and heating and cooling systems have also been installed, which allows for a comfortable environment for our animals.”
Cleanliness, health and safety, and comfort and stress reduction, were all factors considered in the design of the new facility to provide a higher level of care to dogs housed in the pound. The kennels are double-sided with guillotine-style doors to minimize cross-contamination and provide staff with a safe way to clean the kennels should a dog be potentially dangerous. The kennel panels are also made of materials that absorb sound to reduce stress in dogs caused by barking. The colours are soft and light, which have been proven to reduce fear and stress in shelter animals. Furthermore, a quarantine area is available to prevent the spread of disease and maintain low-stress levels while providing a sterile environment for the treatment of illness or injury.
Donations for the rescue can be dropped off at the County office Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. The rescue is always looking for canned dog and cat food, dry dog, puppy, cat, and kitten food, blankets, towels, pet beds, metal food dishes, clumping cat litter, hay, straw, beet pulp, sweet feed, cleaning supplies, garbage bags (Costco industrial), paper towel, hand sanitizer, laundry soap, kennels, leashes, and lunge lines. Monetary donations can be e-transferred to [email protected]. Please request a tax receipt for any contribution made over $25 and include your name and address.