The Lakeland Humane Society (LHS) is hosting their annual gala, Dogs & Divas, this Saturday, February 6th at the Energy Centre in Cold Lake. LHS is happy to announce that the gala, Escape to India, is sold out, which will go a long way in helping the society achieve their ultimate goal, building a new home. Cathy Oliffe-Webster, with LHS, says the society is outgrowing their current location and are looking to move to an area of the City that would offer more room for the animals to play outdoors.
“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, all the money we raise will go towards building a new shelter,” confirms Cathy, “we are desperate for a new shelter!” LHS is on 5oth avenue Cold Lake, as you head west towards the base. The shelter is quite old and needs many updates. “We’re in an old industrial trailer, I mean it’s better than it used to be, back in the day we only had an old barn. It’s infinitely better than it was then, but we’re at a point now that we look after about 600 animals, every year. We have to turn away between 350 and 400, that’s how many we figured we turned away last year.” They simply don’t have enough room for all the animals, explains Cathy.
There’s probably dozens of homeless animals in the Cold Lake area & we’d like to help more, but we just don’t have room. -Cathy Oliffe-Webster Lakeland Humane Society
“We usually take in local strays, but people who want to surrender their animals, for whatever reason, we usually say no to them,” the reason explains Cathy is there’s just not enough room. Cathy encourages people to be very sure before they take on a pet and remind them that it’s a lifetime commitment. If you anticipate a move or have young children there are other options to see if an animal is right for your home, such as, fostering a pet.
LHS does not run a regular foster program, but they do allow people to foster a dog that they are interested in adopting. The potential owners take the dog home for a select period of time, to see if the animal gets along well with other family members and/or other pets at the home, and the environment. If the fostering is successful, then the adoptive pet parents would keep the animal. Cathy explains this helps eliminate buyer’s remorse or owner surrendered pets. “We want every adoption to be permanent, we want it to be a lifetime,” Cathy explains, “we actually make people jump through quite a few hoops to make sure the animal is right for them and they are right for the animal.”
At Christmastime we were operating at 200% capacity. We have 12 proper kennels for dogs and we had more than 30 dogs. We have 24 kennels for cats and we had over 50 cats. We had portable kennels in every single room in the shelter. The community stepped up and we did a lot of adoptions after Christmas. – Cathy Oliffe-Webster Lakeland Humane Society
LHS has been in talks with the City of Cold Lake to have the City donate the land for the new shelter, which is looking very promising. “Our shelter manager and board members are in negotiations with the City, right now. There’s three or four locations that they are talking about, but nothing’s been confirmed, yet,” states Cathy. Should the City donate the land, it will make the cost of a new shelter more manageable for LHS.
Even with the sold out gala, LHS will still need funds to help get into their new home. If you would like to help out, the society is looking for more silent auction items. You can contact Cathy at LHS 780-594-1896 or find them on Facebook and online, lakelandhumanesociety.org.
We’re hoping that of we raise enough money, we’ll be able to put a shovel in the dirt in 2017. -Cathy Oliffe-Webster Lakeland Humane Society