How do you transport 80+ dogs across northern Ontario?
Once they're cleared by a veterinarian, the dogs and puppies will go up for adoption
The North Bay and District Humane Society has gone to the dogs — 87 dogs to be exact.
The facility is caring for the most dogs it's ever had before, after a recent rescue mission to bring the animals from Dryden to North Bay.
That trek earlier this week was rather hectic, recalls shelter manager Janet Bredin. She and three staff members travelled with the large haul of dogs originally from Sandy Bay First Nation, Man.
"Four days in a vehicle basically. So we got to know each other really well."
She says it was a little more than 16 hours of just driving for the crew, not including their stops.
Driving the Trans Canada Highway with 87 dogs
The transport was part of the campaign to reduce the overpopulation of dogs in remote northern First Nations communities.
Bredin says the staff and volunteers with Manitoba Underdogs Rescue got the canines as far as Dryden and then the North Bay Humane Society took over.
They used the North Bay Humane Society's Rescue and Relief vehicle to haul the animals. That's a pick-up truck and a 7.6 metre box trailer.
"It's been equipped with shelving and kennels, lighting, heat and air-conditioning. So we have the availability to take a number of staff members, as well as animals on a trip like this," she said.
"Just to make sure that we have enough hands on....on hand for anything that may come up."
According to Bredin some of the special needs dogs were placed in the back of the truck.
"[Staff were] monitoring, stopping every couple of hours to make sure that everybody was still okay, health checks, feeding, watering, cleaning," she said.
Once the vehicle arrived in North Bay, Bredin says staff and volunteers worked to provide immediate care to all the dogs.
Shelter making a name for itself
The animal shelter in North Bay has been part of large transfers of both dogs and cats before, but Bredin admits this was their largest undertaking to date.
"We've never been the sole organization to take them in, so this is definitely a step in the right direction for us," Bredin said.
This is also the largest number of dogs the animal shelter has housed in its facility.
"It's a little bit cramped in here, but we've got additional kennel support staff for cleaning and feeding, making sure everybody is cared for."
Some of the dogs will be transported to other partner shelters in southern Ontario.
It should be another week or two before most of the animals can be adopted out to their forever homes.
"It really depends on each animal. We're likely anticipating that some of the immediate ones may be able to be cleared and adoption ready within about a week or two."
The dogs are of various breeds and mixes and all sizes.
"The North Bay Humane Society, we're certainly trying to make a name for ourselves with these dog transfers."