Winners of Serenity Pet Shelter and Rescue Society’s puppy naming contest will be announced this Friday at the farmer’s market downtown, said president Melanie Crehan.
The winners, five boys and one girl, will receive a variety of prizes including gift cards to local businesses, a DVD, and a t-shirt. The contest was open to children aged 5-12.
Though there are eight puppies in total, there are only six contest winners because the shelter had already named two puppies, said Crehan.
Crehan said the shelter acquired the animals June 24 from a First Nations reserve. Someone living on the reserve called the shelter.
“She phoned and said, ‘Please can you come get these puppies, we don’t have enough money to feed them,’” said Crehan, adding that the puppies were born June 12.
“The puppies were pretty good, but the mother was skin and bone. You could count her ribs. Every bone stuck out. They just didn’t have enough money to feed her,” said Crehan.
The shelter took the puppies to a veterinarian, who pronounced them in good shape, she said. However, the mother needed to eat. The animals were taken to a farm 25 minutes north of Sylvan Lake. There, Crehan said the mother received all the food, supplements, and vitamins she needed. The puppies were regularly handled to socialize them. They are now being leash trained.
“They’re pretty good. You have to be a cheerleader and coax them and praise them and give them a treat,” said Crehan.
She said the mother has improved and gained some weight, which will continue now that the puppies have been weaned.
“She is the sweetest, most affectionate dog ever. I can never understand how they can be so nice when they’ve been through so much,” said Crehan.
The mother and puppies will need to be adopted. All are mixed-breed, medium-sized dogs, with the puppies having two different fathers.
“We’re looking for forever homes for them now,” said Crehan. She said the ideal home would be with an active family that is willing to take time and effort to train and walk the dogs as needed.
“They’ll be fine on acreages as long as they’re not left outside alone.”