With colder weather creeping in, more dogs and cats are being brought into shelters. For Broken Promises Rescue, that means their already limited resources are being stretched paper-thin.
Langford’s Pamela Saddler co-founded the non-profit, volunteer-run rescue service three years ago with Kathleen Davis. The pair focused their efforts on helping animals that had either been abandoned, were difficult to adopt or had medical issues.
“We focus on helping the animals that others won’t take,” she says. “We’re pretty much their last shot.”
The organization, which Saddler says receives “no government funding at all,” takes animals slated for euthanasia from overcrowded B.C. shelters, those with major or minor medical issues that need addressing before adoption and those that may have behavioural challenges.
Broken Promises spends about $90,000 a year on veterinarian costs. Any animal that passes through their doors is fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped and brought up to their best health possible.
“We’ll actually take the ones that are old and have medical issues. They might not have long, but I want them to have a good six months of love before they go,” Saddler says.
Whether it’s into a “forever home” or the rescue’s palliative foster program, every animal is placed into a home environment, she says.
Kristina Patterson is one of the many people who have opened their homes to foster animals through the rescue. She says it’s a very rewarding experience, and not as hard as some people may think.
“If you adopt, then you’ve saved one or two animals and that’s wonderful,” she says. “If you foster, you can help dozens of animals. Everybody always asks me how I do it and I look at it like I’m just looking after them until their perfect home comes along. It’s really awesome seeing them go off into their forever home.”
Having the animals in foster homes as opposed to cages at a shelter gives prospective adopters an advantage too, as they can see what the animal is like in a home environment.
“You know if there’s any behavioural problems or issues with other animals or kids,” Patterson says. “You know what they’re like when the doorbell rings. You know if they’re affectionate.”
Broken Promises currently has about 30 animals in foster homes throughout the West Shore and Greater Victoria, including Patterson’s current fosterling, Storm, a three-year-old feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) positive and asthmatic cat.
Saddler says regardless of financial strain on the organization, the animals in her care will get what they need. She adds, “It’s always an ongoing struggle. We’re pretty much out of funds for Broken Promises at the moment.”
She’s seen dozens of animals come through the rescue in the last three years and go on to forever homes.
“It’s so rewarding to look back and think it might not have happened otherwise. Everybody gets adopted.”
For more information on adopting or to donate, visit brokenpromisesrescue.com.