Photo: Kollene Drummond from Peterborough made the drive on Saturday to take Momma, a 6 yr-old Rotti/Lab mix to her new forever home in Peterborough!

By Pam Owen

Dogs on Miami Death Row were rescued recently by Big Sky Ranch Sanctuary, and new forever homes found for them. Our southern neighbours have varying laws regarding strays, or dogs bred for other than show or pet purposes. Many of the unwanted dogs end up in facilities that will euthanize when they become filled to capacity.

Fortunately, there are a number of caring and compassionate rescue groups operating south of the border that intervene when possible. It was one of these such groups which contacted Andy Parent from Big Sky Ranch. Could he, would he, have space available to house these dogs and find loving homes for them?

Andy, the compassionate and caring founder of BSR Sanctuary stepped up. This was not his first time to do so. Organizations from near and far have heard of the amazing stories of refuge and rescue being carried out, right here in our own backyard. Social media, newspapers and TV crews have done stories, and interviews covering the amazing work BSR carries out. W5 and CTV’s Regional Contact both have come out and done segments about BSR.

But, back to the dogs. Before the rescue groups in the States release the dogs, they are spayed/neutered, micro-chipped; immunizations are updated and good health is assured. The dogs are then transported up North to Canada. This last group came from Miami, so blankets and dog coats were provided to help keep them warm on the trip and after they arrived. It must be hard to acclimatize from high temperatures to our Canadian deep freeze.  Andy makes a few calls, e-mails and passes the news around by word of mouth; so quite often, before the newcomers arrive, their forever homes are potentially being prepared already.

Many of us would have heard of the Jansen boys in Ottawa. The deal was, if Senators Bobby Ryan scored a goal, dad said they could have a puppy. Bobby rose to the challenge, dad kept his word and two happy boys began looking for a puppy. What they got was a rescued dog from Big Sky Ranch. Bobby was the dog that made headlines when the story was carried by media everywhere. Behind the headlines, Bobby was rescued by a group in the States and, along with a few other dogs, came to Canada via BSR.

Critics have wondered why dogs are taken from south of the border, when we have so many stray dogs here already. A valid question. When put to Andy at BSR, his answer was a simple yet compassionate one. He explained that it wasn’t the dogs fault, and why should they suffer because of a border built by humans? Every dog deserves a chance, and many are finding that chance through the continued efforts of shelters and caring individuals in the States and Big Sky Ranch Sanctuary.

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