Meet Charlie, a German shepherd rescue.
He’s still learning to adjust to living on the Island. Back in 2018, he was in California with a due date on his life. His owners dumped him in a high-kill shelter in rough condition.
“I knew he wasn’t getting out of the shelter alive, so I got him out and he was taken to the vet hospital where he spent a month undergoing extensive testing,” says Kelli Norton, Charlie’s current owner.
“These days, he waits in the wings [of the house] and I have to invite him in to pet him. [It’s clear] he’s had some abuse or neglect. If you move really quick or shout loudly, he’s gone.”
Norton, a Sooke resident, runs Guide Us Home, a non-profit animal rescue society specifically for German shepherds. Currently, she has three other German shepherds on her property.
Since 2014, she’s found foster homes for over 15 dogs. Now, she’s looking for a home for Charlie, who has thyroid issues, damaged eyes, and is partly bald.
“I just feel that [the dogs’] lives shouldn’t end because of what some horrible human did to them. That’s why I do what I do.”
Now, she’s got an eye on another German shepard named Remi. He’s a five-year-old from California. According to her, his face was beaten so badly he might have to lose an eye.
“He’s had the crap kicked out of him. He also may have a broken jaw,” she adds.
In her eyes, the ideal foster dog parent will be at home part-time, have a fenced backyard, and has owned a dog before.
Norton is partnering with Sooke’s Bosley’s pet supply store (6660 Sooke Rd) to hold a fundraiser nail trim to support her rescue society. The event takes place on Friday, Sept. 27, from 3 to 6 p.m. A minimum donation of $5 is requested. Cash donations without a nail trim will be tax deductible.