Angie Parsons, of the Royal K9 Pet Spa, Resort and Training Centre, plays with Rosie the golden retriever at the Deer Lake spa on Wednesday. The number of stray and lost dogs being brought to K9 is rising at an alarming rate. — William Humphrey photo
As the number of lost or stray dogs brought to Royal K9 Pet Spa, Resort and Training Centre in Deer Lake continues to mount, Angie Parsons says the need for a resolution is also growing.
In recent days, said Parsons, a dog was found wandering in frigid temperatures. Parsons was notified, posted a picture on Facebook and found the owner without much trouble.
But another evening, after hours for the pound in Reidville, a dog was found on the highway near the town.
She said the poor animal was freezing outside and had a number of sores and possible other ailments. The person who found the dog brought it to K9 and Parsons set the wheels in motion to care for the animal and hopefully find its owner.
This has been nothing new for Parsons and people who are aware of her compassion and capabilities with animals.
“We have a reputation built where this is not just a place where you drop off your dog that you don’t want, but it has happened,” she said. “It is mostly people who have found a dog and care enough about it not to let it freeze or starve.”
She works with animal control, as well as the pound in Reidville, but says K9 is more used by the community than the pound, which services 12 municipalities. Many times animals are found during evenings and weekends, after hours for the pound.
With the facility, space and willingness to step up her effort, Parsons has contacted the Town of Deer Lake to establish an interim service for stray or wandering animals until the rightful owners can be found or until the animals can be re-homed.
“I went to the municipality and said I want to help, and this is how I want to help,” she said.
Council has been receptive to the idea, she said, and it has been discussed at a public meeting. However, she said action is needed immediately.
Parsons has again gone to the Town to request a meeting in hopes of pushing it ahead.
“Everybody thinks this is a place they can come and dump the dogs, and municipalities are thinking they don’t have a problem, so this really has to go ahead,” she said. “I want the municipality to say it is OK to do this, and so we can implement town tags and a better tracking system.
“This is not about money. You never make money doing this kind of stuff.”
Town manager Maxine Hayden acknowledged the issue is being examined by council. It is hoped they can meet with Parsons again next week, Hayden said.
Coun. Kerry Jones is responsible for the file as chair of the town’s environment and housing committee. He is away on vacation and unavailable for comment.
Requests for comment from Mayor Dean Ball and the remainder of council were unreturned as of deadline.
A dog park is in the Town of Deer Lake’s budget for 2014, Hayden said. It will be looked at after the snow melts later this spring. The parks and recreation committee will be handling that project.