BC Humane Society partnered with a local hotel to treat foster puppies to toys and cuddles for the ‘howlidays’ – a month-long campaign that raises money for the organization.
BC Humane Society and Accent Inns Inc. are working to find forever homes for animals by holding events like the puppy play date, where puppies got to meet people and pick out toys for Christmas.
“We work with the BC Humane Society all year long,” said Nikisa Banks, director of marketing and communications for Accent Inns. “All of our hotels across B.C., we donate a dollar from every pet cleaning fee to the BC Humane Society so they’re friends of ours. When they told us they were having trouble finding foster families this winter, we just asked how we could help.”
Tuesday’s puppy play date at Accent Inns’ Saanich location kicked off the hotel’s December ‘Happy Howlidays’ campaign during which Accent Inns donates 10 per cent of every stay to the BC Humane Society. Donations from this fund will go directly to supplies, veterinary care and licensing support as well as travel and transportation.
Penny Stone, the executive director at BC Humane Society, said events like this go a long way in encouraging people to foster and adopt.
“The hard part is people don’t get to see the animals,” Stone said. “When people see the actual animals that are rescued, it changes everything. It’s great to talk about things, but people need the visual. These events are really nice to get awareness of what’s going on. People who are in the animal industry know, but people who aren’t, have no idea what’s happening right now and how crazy it’s gone.”
Shifts in work-from-home culture and inflation have contributed to shelters across B.C. spilling over with a large number of ‘pandemic pets.’
Pets that were adopted when the pandemic forced people to shelter at home and keep their bubbles small are among the number of animals residing in shelters this holiday season.
“People go back to work and they’re gone eight hours and all of the sudden these animals are destroying their homes because they don’t know what’s happened to them, they feel abandoned,” Stone said. “Victoria alone is getting about 30 requests to take dogs a week. So it’s just become crazy.”
While Stone said the BC Humane Society hopes for an increase in adoptions this holiday season, she discourages adopting a pet without fully understanding the commitment that goes into taking a pet home, especially as a Christmas present.
“As pretty as that is in a hallmark card, that’s not reality,” She said. “It’s a living, breathing thing and we have to make sure it has a home for the rest of its life. I would say most people have the right intentions, so we just got to make sure. It’s all about education.”
As for the puppies at the Saanich play date, quite a few of them are ready to be adopted by the right family. Interested families can visit victoriahumanesociety.com for more information, while BC Humane Society works on its umbrella site.