‘These dogs de­serve lov­ing homes too’

Ca­nines and their com­pan­ions walk for ElderDog in Kentville

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA KENTVILLE

El­iz­a­beth Dea­mone loves dogs, and loves help­ing peo­ple. And as the head of the Kings County ElderDog group, she helps both quite a lot.

Dea­mone was one of sev­eral ElderDog vol­un­teers at the Paws on Pawrade ElderDog walk Sept. 29, where dogs and their hu­mans walked around Min­ers Marsh in Kentville to raise aware­ness and fi­nan­cial sup­port for the char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion which aims to help el­derly peo­ple care for their el­derly dogs.

Dea­mone said hello to both peo­ple and dogs as she told them about the char­ity and the work it does to help care for older pop­u­la­tions.

“Let’s say your grand­par­ent has a dog, and loves their dog, but can’t take it to the vet, to the groomer – we will do that stuff for them, free of charge,” she said.

The Kentville event was part of a cross-Canada walk rais­ing aware­ness for the or­ga­ni­za­tion, which was founded in Lunen­burg.

Along with pro­vid­ing free help for ca­nine care, the or­ga­ni­za­tion also has a foster and adop­tion pro­gram for se­nior dogs whose own­ers can no longer care for them.

The process starts with a fos- ter, and ends with adop­tion if the owner will no longer be able to care for their dog. The or­ga­ni­za­tion takes each dog to the vet for a health checkup and then places them with ap­proved fos­ters and later, in some cases, new own­ers.

Once it’s de­ter­mined a dog will need to be adopted, Dea­mone says the or­ga­ni­za­tion for­mally adopts it – mean­ing if its new owner can no longer care for the dog, they re-foster un­til a new ap­proved adopt­ing per­son is found.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion is also against eu­th­a­niz­ing older dogs, even if they are on pal­lia­tive care. At that point, Dea­mone said it’s all about find­ing the right fit of dog and owner.

“Once we take a dog, it be­comes our dog. Even if the dog is in pal­lia­tive care, we don’t put them down. We find some­one to foster them even when they’re at that point of their life,” she said.

With ini­tial check­ups av­er­ag­ing $ 500 per dog, costs rise quickly for the or­ga­ni­za­tion. That’s why rais­ing aware­ness, re­cruit­ing vol­un­teers and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance is al­ways a huge help, said Dea­mone.

Juanita LeBlanc and Re­becca San­ford both at­tended the walk with their dogs. LeBlanc owns a res­cued Galgo named Celina, and San­ford owns a bea­gle named Daisy.

The sis­ters said they went for the walk to raise aware­ness for the res­cue group Car­lota Gal­gos Res­cue Canada that spon­sored Celina’s adop­tion, and other pos­i­tive char­i­ties like ElderDog, an or­ga­ni­za­tion LeBlanc said she “has huge re­spect for.”

“There are too many dogs that are over­looked, for dif­fer- ent rea­sons. Older dogs make awe­some pets, and ElderDog does such a great job of help­ing peo­ple care for their dogs, or adopt new ones,” she said.

“These dogs de­serve lov­ing homes too.”

SARA ERIC­S­SON

Juanita LeBlanc was joined by her sis­ter Re­becca San­ford and San­ford’s bea­gle, Daisy.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

Juanita LeBlanc at­tended the Paws on Pawrade ElderDog dog walk Sept. 29 at Min­ers Marsh in Kentville with her res­cued Span­ish galgo, Celina. “These dogs de­serve lov­ing homes, too,” she said.

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