Pooches, pound welcome people
City facility joins Doors Open event
THE cages are all shut at the city’s animal services agency, but this weekend, for the first time, the facility on Logan Avenue is taking part in Doors Open Winnipeg.
“You can learn about animal services and see adoptable dogs,” Leland Gordon, chief operating officer, said Saturday as he provided a guided tour of the facility.
“It’s an opportunity to learn about various animal laws, the Animal Care Act and cruelty laws and the responsibilities of pet ownership,” he said.
Inside one room, a Boston terrier without a licence and wearing a leather collar that was picked up by animal control Saturday morning cowered in a pen waiting for its owner to claim it.
If the timid black-and-white pooch had a licence, it could quickly be reunited with its owner, said Gordon. In the adjoining room, rows of dogs, including a dachshund, waited quietly for someone to adopt them. A German shepherd cross who was adopted and recovering from her spaying before being taken home stood on her hind legs to greet passersby.
Seven years ago, up to 500 dogs who were unclaimed or dangerous and un-adoptable were euthanized, said Gordon. In 2015, there were just 41. Now, 96 per cent of the dogs that arrive at the agency leave alive, he said while touring the garage, where one of the vehicles used to pick up animals was on display.
The customized van has floodlights for night searches; an exterior cage like a rumble seat for skunks; smooth, stainless steel doors; and heated and air-conditioned cages inside, with drainage. There is a medical room where veterinary technology students from Red River College help the agency’s vet and learn to work with both friendly and aggressive dogs. There’s a kitchen with stainless steel food dishes and stacks of pet food. There’s an “exotics” room that was housing a solitary snake Saturday.
Downstairs from the dog pound, another site is taking part in Doors Open Winnipeg.
Row upon row of bikes waiting to be taken home or in need of some TLC can be found at the Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub (WRENCH). The registered charity sells reconditioned bikes and teaches cyclists how to repair their own. At weekly drop-in sessions, people can fix their bike or build their own, said Jordan Justice, WRENCH’s resource reclamation co- ordinator. The weekly session usually attracts between 85 to 90 people, he said.
“We see a lot of new immigrants looking for transportation,” said WRENCH volunteer Lynn Scott. “There’s people from Myanmar, Colombia, Ethiopia — it’s a mixture.” Scott said she got involved with the charity because she wanted to learn how to fix her own bike.
WRENCH operates a bike-recycling compound at the Brady Road landfill. One of their finds is a swing bike with a hinged rear end and banana seat Justice could barely pedal between the rows of bikes without crashing. Scott wheeled out a fancy coaster bike that’s worth more than $1,000 but is not for sale. Its donor wants it to go to someone with specific needs, said WRENCH’S Bonita Kliewer. She said they’re organizing a bike bazaar in West Broadway next Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at 185 Young St. It’s a kids’ bike swap where growing cyclists can trade in their bike for a bigger one, she said. There will be low-cost adult bikes available for sale and a community tuneup station to teach bike owners how to repair and maintain their own bicycle, she said.
Winnipeg Animal Services and WRENCH are located at 1057 Logan Ave. Both are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today for Doors Open Winnipeg.
Nnana Idiong (centre) and another WRENCH volunteer work on fixing a bike Saturday.