Dog Jog to support stray animal program

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – A kitten stretches its paw far outside its cage, reaching out for some human contact. She purrs and then runs her flank along an offered hand, a show of appreciation for the attention being offered. In another room, Marlow leaps and tugs against his leash – not because he is a disobedient dog – but because he is happy in his hopes of making a new human friend. Marlow and the kitten are two of 20-some dogs and cats currently up for adoption at the Morinville Veterinary Clinic, all part of the facility’s stray / rescue program.

The Morinville Veterinary Clinic is the local pound for animals found in Morinville and St. Albert. They will be holding a Dog Jog fundraising event Aug. 7 to raise awareness about the program and to raise funds for the same.

Jeanine Smith, a veterinary technician at the animal hospital and wellness centre, said registration is $25 for a 1 kilometre walk and $30 for the 2.5 km walk, both taking participants and their animals for a hike. In addition to an afternoon’s exercise comes the knowledge that their registration fee will help the program continue to find homes for animals that have none. A concession stand will also be present, run by 4-H members who will donate part of the proceeds to the program.
“All funds being raised are going straight to our stray / rescue program,” Smith said. “That in turn pays for spaying, neutering, micro-chipping and tattoos. All of that is done before we adopt them out.”

In addition to funding the animal’s pre-adoption needs, the fund raiser will also help cover surgeries for animals that come in injured and to provide the food it takes to feed a dog or cat for the three to six months it can take waiting for a family to adopt them.

Smith said the clinic presently has more cats than dogs due to cats being a little harder to adopt out and the vast majority of cats coming in without identification, something necessary to get the animal back to its proper owner. However, when cats are found in a box on the side of the road, as has happened in the past, finding the original owner is unlikely.

The clinic has also invited Morinville Peace Officers to take part in the event to answer questions about Morinville’s Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. “A lot of people have questions about the cat traps,” Smith said. “Only the bylaw officers can lend out the cat traps and there are very strict rules for cat traps.” Other information will include displays on spaying, neutering and micro-chipping, the latter of which will be offered to pet owners at a reduced rate.

The clinic is hoping in addition to raising awareness and funds for the program, they will lower the number of animals currently waiting for homes. The weekend event is a perfect opportunity for those who want to add an animal companion to their life to come and see what is currently available for adoption. The adoption fee for dogs is $280 and $180 for cats.

Registration for the Dog Jog will take place between 9:15 and 9:45 a.m. Aug. 7 and the event will set feet and paws in motion at 10 a.m. Pet owners wishing to have their pets micro-chipped should call the clinic to book an appointment. For more information, contact the Morinville veterinary Clinic at 780-939-3133 or 877-939-3133.

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