Nova Scotia

Program gives new life to old dogs in N.S.

Some older dogs and cats in Nova Scotia are getting a new lease on life thanks to an innovative program from the SPCA.

Some older dogs and cats in Nova Scotia are getting a new lease on life thanks to an innovative program from the SPCA.

The society finds loving homes for animals that might otherwise have to be put down due to advanced age and health problems.

"I believe that every animal should have dignity at the end of their life," said Sandra Flemming, a shelter director for the SPCA.

"I don't think that this is the place where it should happen. I think it should be with somebody loving with them."

Many senior animals are not given up for adoption because they have too many health problems.

With the palliative care program that she started, Flemming said the society takes care of food, medical costs and the expense of euthanasia if it becomes necessary.

"All we're asking people to do is open up their hearts and their homes to an animal in need and we provide the rest," Flemming said.

So far, 12 dogs have found foster families through the program.

Carolyn McNally is fostering two dogs, Bubbles and China.

The dogs, both believed to be almost 11 years old, were found abandoned in Dartmouth. Both have heart murmurs and cataracts.

McNally said in spite of their health issues, she is glad she brought the animals into her home.

"The dogs will give you more than you can ever give them," she said. "It will be sad when they're gone, but I think the reward is that otherwise they may have been euthanized."

Flemming said the society's goal is to make Nova Scotia the first no-kill province in Canada. That means no more than 10 per cent of the animals in shelters would be put down.

"We do euthanize, but we usually euthanize only for aggression and for mercy."

Flemming said the SPCA is always looking for new homes willing to host an older dog or cat.

now