A team of volunteers from southern Alberta drove 11 hours north this week to rescue dozens puppies and adult dogs from a remote community near High Level, Alta.
The mission was a joint effort between the Calgary's Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) and northern Alberta's New Beginnings Animal Rescue Society.
AARCS executive director Deanna Thompson said her team received a tip on Monday from a woman who worked in the area that there was a large number of dogs that needed rescue.
Some of the 48 dogs rescued were discovered at a local dump, while others were surrendered by their owners. Thompson said the remote community had little access to veterinary care and animal services, which made it difficult to control the growing animal population.
"It's not a case of neglect, they're great people, they are just very lacking resources. Unfortunately, when animals aren't spayed and neutered they reproduce, so they reached out to us for help," Thompson said.
"They wanted us to take these puppies and find them good homes and we're going to help them get their dogs spayed and neutered so that we can help end this cycle of overpopulation," she added.
According to a social media post by AARCS, kennels, each containing at least two dogs, were transported by van back to Calgary, where AARCS's medical team examined, vaccinated and dewormed the animals.
"Some of them are in good condition, [their owners] did take care of them the best they could. Others we found were homeless struggling a little bit more — being dehydrated and emaciated — and those we're going to get them the medical care they need before they go up for adoption," Thompson said.
All of the dogs had been placed with foster families.
Kathy Brown has been fostering with AARCS for three years and has taken in two of the puppies.
She said she understands how pet owners who are trying to do the right thing can get into trouble when there is a lack of resources.
"People sometimes get themselves into situation that they can't necessarily get themselves out of. They're trying to help, they want to help, but they get to the point where they can't help," Brown said.
Thompson said once the animals recover, grow a little bit and are neutered, they will be up for adoption.
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Shipping containers being converted into staff housing in Banff
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Calgary Zoo whooping cranes set to be released into the wild in Louisiana