Winnipeg Animal Services held a dog sale on the weekends, as its shelter deals with an ongoing influx of pets that leave them regularly over capacity.
“We’re seeing more dogs coming in after the pandemic, which is very sad,” Leland Gordon, general manager of Animal Services, told CBC on Sunday.
“It seems like we’re having a dog sale every three or four weeks now, which is not the solution to overpopulation,” he said.
“The number 1 solution to pet overpopulation is spay and neuter.”
Those considering adopting a pet should do so through a local animal shelter or rescue center, said Gordon, since many offer price-friendly options for spaying and neutering, licensing, microchipping, vaccinations and even pet health insurance.
“Almost every single dog that ends up at our facility is not spayed and neutered, [and is] not licensed or vaccinated,” he said.
People considering getting a dog should also consider whether they’re ready for the lifelong commitment, he said, since most dogs live 10 to 15 years. People should also question whether they have the space and money for a dog.
“If more people were asking those questions, we would see less dogs ending up in animal services.”
Dogs are available at the service center every day and they’re open seven days a week.
Gordon said most animal shelters and rescue centers across Winnipeg, the province and the country are over capacity.
Those who don’t want to make a lifelong commitment can still help get dogs adopted through the service’s successful doggy-date program, Gordon said.
The program lets people take dogs out “like a library book” for up to a week, he said. The dogs will have bright shirts advertising that they’re up for adoption, and people can show them off at the Kildonan Place and Grant Park malls.
Brylin Hasking-Schwan was happy to take home a “lively” German shepherd on Sunday.
“I live alone at home and I just want a companion to hang out with,” she told CBC.
“Ever since I was little, I always wanted a German shepherd.”
She said she was ready for the dog and urged others to make the commitment.
“There’s tons in there that need good homes, and they look so lonely. How can you not want that for yourself?”
Gordon said it’s important for people to get a dog to do some inward reflection before taking a dog home.
“Look at yourself and your lifestyle and try to get a dog that matches you,” he said.
Animal shelters and rescue centers are often great matchmakers, since they already have a relationship with the dogs, and they typically have a short-term return policy, he said.
The hardest dogs to get adopted were the older and larger ones, Gordon said, but he urged people to consider the overlooked canines.
“When you get an adult dog, there’s a 50/50 chance that the dog is house trained. You get a puppy — zero per cent chance,” he said.
“A lot of people think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You can.”