Helping Paws Okanagan worries about being able to bring dogs home as borders close

The Penticton-based organization rescues dogs from Texas

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the federal government has ordered the U.S.-Canada border to close to non-essential traffic.

But what does this mean for those working on rescuing dogs in the U.S. and bringing them to Canada for adoption?

That’s the question Lesley Chapman is asking, founder of Helping Paws Okanagan, based in Penticton.

Previously, Chapman has facilitated veterinarian care for and the adoption of 40 dogs.

Currently, she’s trying to bring 10 dogs from Texas to Canada, but she’s worried that might not happen, as borders close to non-essential traffic. She said she’s been thinking of renting a van to bring the dogs from the U.S. herself but as of Mar. 18, she said she still wasn’t sure if her rescue organization would be able to enter Washington state, where the dogs would be transported to from Texas.

“We have adopters for the dogs here in the Okanagan, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, but we can’t get them here now,” Chapman said.

“Most of the fosters (in Texas) are ok holding onto them for now, so long as this doesn’t go on for too long. But it’s just very uncertain how we’re going to get them here and I’m really hoping that the adopters don’t give up.”

Chapman added she’s worried about costs should the fosters not be able to take care of the dogs and they have to find boarding for them.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford it if it comes to that. The rest of the bills are under control … but the adoption fees don’t cover boarding when things like this happen. What people can do is help us with donations, because it could get very expensive if they have to be boarded.”

For more information on how you can donate or help with dog transport, you can email helpingpaws.okanagan@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

READ: Kelowna International Airport expects traffic volume to drop by 50 per cent

READ: Interior Health postpones most non-urgent surgeries


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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