Pooches, pound wel­come peo­ple

City fa­cil­ity joins Doors Open event

SundayXtra - - CITY - By Carol San­ders

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.

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