The Victoria Humane Society says it could be saving even more lives if it had its own facility.
With 163 animals currently in its care, the non-profit relies entirely on fosters and volunteers to take in the animals while they wait to be adopted. That puts a huge strain on the entirely volunteer-run organization, says executive director Penny Stone.
“For us it would be way easier if we had a facility. We get asked everyday [to take in more animals] and we have to say no every day because there’s not enough space,” Stone said.
A recent influx of animals – 51 surrendered dogs and 20 cats brought in from the Interior – has put pressure on the already bursting organization, doing its best to take in as many animals as it can, often from remote areas in other parts of Canada.
“We try to work in a lot of the communities, [some] are hard to get and its expensive to get them out,” Stone said. “For us it would be way easier if we had a facility. It would give us a better place to bring them in, find out about them and find them foster homes.”
Getting to know the dogs and cats is key, Stone said. With a facility, volunteers could learn about the animals’ personalities and proclivities – learning if they are good with children or other pets before they are moved to foster homes or adopted.
Stone said an acreage or warehouse zoned for kennel use would be ideal. She said the organization has enough donations coming in to cover mortgage payments – but a down payment is really what stands in the way.
“We’ve been looking at all sorts of grants but none will help us buy or rent,” she said. “If someone would help it would make a huge change. We could say yes more often and more animals could have a chance.
“It would make a huge difference to us and it would make a difference to the animals.”