Community heroes step up to rescue Lila

Published on Tuesday, 25 June 2024 09:25

People abandoning pets has been an unfortunate common occurrence that puts a lot of strain on animal rescue agencies. Recently the Valley has had some local heroes step up to rescue a small dog last weekend that was abandoned and left in distress.
Swan River MLA Rick Wowchuk first spotted the dog outside of Cowan and posted seeing it all alone in the park. Sherry Markle then brought it to the attention of the Swan Valley Animal Protection League (SVAPL). This sparked a frenzy of concern for the little dog that led to a few rescue attempts to bring her to safety by members of the SVAPL and other volunteers.
“The first night Lisa and I went out, was on Thursday, June 13, at about 8 p.m.,” said Jenn Ferron. “That’s when we first learned about her. The dog was not having anything to do with us and ran into the park and bushes, and we couldn’t find her after a while.
“On the next day, we had more success. It’s a good thing she was hungry because we were able to bribe her with food and she would come close to us. She would come up and eat out of our hands, but she still didn’t want to be caught. We spent a total of five hours that night with the dog all along the side of the highway. The people in Cowan were wonderful as well, for letting us sit on their lawns while we tried to coax her along.
“Then on Saturday when I went out there, I walked up and down the highway because I couldn’t find her,” said Ferron. “Once I started calling the dog’s name, she jumped out of the lilac bushes and let me pet her and continued to eat from my hand, but still very skittish.”
Lisa Scales, Myrna Klein, Lori-Ann Sushelnicki and Ferron all tried to rescue the dog and eventually it was safely caught and brought in. The poor dog was covered with over 50 wood ticks from being left out and running in the long grass. Stephanie and James Wigley went to the vet Saturday morning to get Bravecto to get rid of the ticks.
“The dog was just covered in wood ticks and we noticed some really big ones when we first saw her,” said Ferron. “They fell off, but they were around her eyes and mouth, which was from running in the bush.
“We only learned about this dog on Thursday night, because of Rick Wowchuk letting us know. We don’t know how long the dog was left unattended, but that was the first sighting of her that we had knowledge of.”
The little dog has been named Lila because she would come out of hiding from the lilac bushes along the highway when rescuers were searching for her. Lila is doing well and has been to the vet for care. She is a very smart little dog, is housebroken, loves to play, crate trained for evenings and is a lapdog.
“The dog was seen by the vet and got fixed as well,” said Ferron. “She will need time to get over all she has been through before she can be adopted. She was given medication to help with all the wood ticks she had on her and they’ve all fallen off. At least she can heal from that and it’s not bothering her anymore. The dog is eating well and doing very well.
“My greatest reward for this was when Lisa phoned me at 10:30 p.m. on the evening of the day we rescued Lila and told me she was wagging her tail. To me that was great and that is the reward we get. I’ve gone to see the dog the last couple of days and she is so full of kisses and snuggles. She really is a loving dog, so for her to be that scared and alone, I can only imagine what this dog went through. It takes a lot for a pet to trust someone, especially after they’ve been abandoned by a previous owner. Most of the time they are just waiting for their owner and don’t know what is going on.”
The SVAPL asks that people do the responsible thing when it comes to not being able to care for a pet any longer. Having a pet is a huge responsibility and they become members of the family. Abandoning them in a foreign place is a cruel thing to do and there are better ways to handle it that would not put the pet at risk of dying.
“Unfortunately, with animal rescue, we see that all the time,” said Ferron. “It breaks my heart. I’ve been blessed to foster over 40 dogs in my care and it’s a heartbreaking thing, but I find it rewarding in the end when we find these dogs their forever home.
“If a person has a dog that for some reason they can’t look after or that they find abandoned, we encourage them to call the municipality or us for help. We can post to help rehome the dog, but please do not abandon or leave them. They are scared and could get hurt or worse, killed. Reach out to someone rather than doing this.”
The Valley has many community heroes and Ferron is thankful to all who helped save Lila’s life. It took a group of caring and concerned citizens to make all the difference in this little dog’s life and soon she will go to a home where she will be cared for and loved.
“As Lisa had said on social media, it took a village to rescue this little dog and I couldn’t have done it without people posting on Facebook and keeping us updated,” said Ferron. “From Rick posting, that he found her, to Myrna coming out to help, it really does take a village and I’m thankful to everyone who helped.”

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