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September 18, 2011

Safe at the Shelter

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Rebecca with "Hope." Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • On her way to healing. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Adjusting to his new surroundings. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Admiring an adorable rescuee. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Waiting to be examined. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • An appealing face. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Vet check-up. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Rows of cages at the shelter. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

by Rebecca Aldworth

As I look around the emergency shelter HSI helped to build, I am overwhelmed by the ability of dogs to forgive. For I've seen firsthand in the past few days what they have endured. And these are images I will never get out of my mind.

We've brought more than 500 dogs here, following the largest rescue of its kind in Quebec history. It took us two days to remove all of the animals from the facility where they were living, and our team is emotionally drained and physically exhausted. But we are overjoyed at the outcome of this operation. To have played such a central role in this rescue is something the HSI Animal Rescue Team will never forget.

Give now to support our efforts to help dogs in need.

I lifted one tiny Yorkshire terrier we named "Hope" out of her cage. She is a breeding female, several years old. She likely endured the substandard conditions of the breeding facility for a very long time. As I held her close, I vowed that we would do all we could to give her a brighter future.

One small dog that we named Sentry is really taking to his new home. At the seizure, he watched us all from his enclosure, jumping up every time we walked by as if to say, "It's my turn!" But we had to bring the animals in most urgent need of attention to the shelter first, leaving him for the next load. My heart broke as we left the building and his sad gaze followed us. Soon though, we were back, and when we finally brought him outside, he was overcome with excitement. I am so glad our team was able to bring him to safety.

Today, the dogs have been receiving veterinary care, food, water and love. It is an amazing experience to see how the lives of animals can change in such a dramatic way so quickly. It is your support that made this rescue possible, and that keeps us going in our efforts to put a stop to this kind of suffering. Donate to help.

Rebecca Aldworth is executive director of HSI Canada.

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