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Six Wee Chicks Find Refuge at BCFS

What happens when chicks are hatched as part of a school project and about to be sent to a factory farm, but one animal-loving mom intervenes to save them?

They find sanctuary at BCFS’ brand new Little g Ranch! BCFS volunteer Ashley dropped everything to transport six little lives in late May, in a cardboard box where they were tenderly welcomed into sanctuary.

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These chicks were all hatched by a school to educate children, but they were then going to a factory farm to wind up on dinner plates. One of the students’ mothers felt this wasn’t right and she contacted BCFS about accepting the chicks into rescue. We said yes, we would take these six wee ones.

BCFS’ founder Amy put out a call asking for help to pick them up and bring them to Little g Ranch, and Ashley wasted no time carefully transporting them.

Ashley made a sweet short video of her chick transport and you can see how amazing BCFS’ new location is in it, too! Click here to watch the six fuzzy chicks arriving at BCFS!

The chicks are about 8 weeks old now and growing fast, in the safety of our red barn and enjoying some time outside in the sunshine.

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IMG_2681croppedresizedTime in the sun

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At BCFS, these chicks have the opportunity to grow up and live natural lives.

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There’s much more to chickens than many people think; they’re intelligent, affectionate and develop distinct personalities. They love being petted and enjoy attention, life and sunshine. We’re looking forward to seeing these wee ones grow and flourish.

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BCFS thanks the conscientious, caring mother who believed these chicks deserved to live and contacted BCFS. The best lesson each of us can teach children is respect for all lives.

 

 

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A Family for Sabre – Senior Rottie Adopted!

Sabre epitomizes what rescue is all about: saving animals, healing their ailments and wounded hearts, teaching them to trust again, and giving them the time they need to find loving homes.

We knew Sabre is a treasure whose sweet personality would win over the perfect family, and we were right.

BCFS is thrilled that Sabre has just been adopted!
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Sabre’s healing journey to her forever home began in January, when BCFS rescued this senior Rottweiler. Life had not been kind to 11-year-old Sabre. Her people beat her up and let other dogs beat her up, too.

Six months later, Sabre looks amazing compared to when she came in: recovering from abuse, suffering from ear and eye infections that wept and oozed, a flea infestation, mammary gland tumours and a dull, thin coat.
 
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Sabre after intake at BCFS
Safe in BCFS’ foster care program, Sabre received veterinary care to treat her infections, gentle hands to stroke her, and tender loving care. She was finally able to get a bit of sleep, able to close her eyes and not worry about her next meal or a safe place to call home. She seemed surprised to find her bowls full of food and fresh water.
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Though fearful when faced with new situations, Sabre began to relax. She surprised her foster mom by gently carrying around a small plush toy in her mouth that she set in her lap as a prize. Sabre was proud of that stuffed toy and did not even attempt to tear it up.
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Today, Sabre doesn’t look 11 years old, she looks and moves like a young dog. Sabre blossomed in foster care; she’s put on a great deal of muscle and has relaxed so much since her rescue. BCFS knows that dogs who are abused can learn to trust and love again regardless of age… and we were determined to prove it.
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 Sabre has done just that, she’s learned to trust and love again. She’s a beautiful soul who loves people and is safe with children.
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Sabre will happily greet new people with tail wags and by pressing her face against their legs to be petted. She’s the regular old rottie that we’ve seen before… the one who loves a good bum scratch and does the lean against your legs. She sits on the floor and lets kids hug and pet her with love shining in her eyes. Sabre will now have two children to love in her new family!
Sabre has had a rough life, but landed at BCFS where we took care of most her physical problems.
 

Her ear infections are under control with a fish diet, and we removed six mammary gland tumours. She’s been spayed and brought up to date on her vaccinations. Her flea infestation is gone and her coat shines with health.  Sabre is hearing impaired but the sound of silence doesn’t hamper her ability to love and enjoy life.

When Sabre was spayed they found a large tumour on her ovary and it was a lifesaver that we spayed an 11 year old dog. Six mammary gland tumours were removed and one was found to be cancer, but they excised it with a solid margin. There’s no guarantee it won’t come back, but spaying reduces the chances of cancer by 50%. Another reason to please spay female dogs!
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Sabre, healthy and ready for the next chapter in her life
Sabre initially showed fear aggression with other dogs in foster care, but was convinced to make friends with Taz, Jackson, Zig and our late Gus. Since she is generally still very dog aggressive, Sabre’s new family is suitable since they have no other animals. Sabre still has a bit of anxiety in new situations, but is fine by herself without any separation anxiety. She’s completely house-trained but not good on a leash, but she’ll have a fenced-in yard to run around in. This senior girl also doesn’t like the cold.
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 Brrr! Sabre prefers cozy, not cold
Sabre flourished in six months of BCFS’ foster care, and today she’s a friendly and loving girl who adores people and has learned how to trust again. Sabre’s new family will never lack for that old fashioned rottie love.
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BCFS is pleased that Sabre now has her very own family to love! She’s doing great in her new home! New dad Chris writes,
Sabre is doing awesome a very playful dog for her age she seems to be very happy.
He adds that Sabre is a perfect addition to their family. Thank you and congratulations to Sabre’s new family!
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Frisky Mini Horse JB Adopted!

JB is a little fella with a big personality! He arrived at BCFS last November, a rambunctious paint colt just shy of his second birthday.

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JB was largely left to his own devices as a young colt and was a handful when he entered our foster care program. But he learned to walk well with a halter and no longer rears when excited while being led.

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JB’s foster family fell in love with him and we’re happy to announce they’ve adopted JB!

BCFS rescued young JB along with three mini horse mares, one of whom turned out to be pregnant at the time of her rescue and later gave birth to JB’s foal. We adopted both mom and foal to a forever home. We had JB gelded in December, so no more mini-JBs, and this flashy fella turned two in January.

This lucky young gelding has found his forever home on a farm to share his life with new mom Kirbi’s horses and alpacas.

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We love this series of photos of JB and his new family so much we made a collage to share them all! JB has a beautiful new home.

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New mom Kirbi writes,

JB has been nicknamed Jellybean by my kids. We don’t have experience with driving minis in front of a cart so he will just be “flashy” rather than a flashy cart horse lol.  He became fast friends with True North (“Northy”) my Arabian. IMG_2720resizedIt took a bit longer to win over my Clydesdale, Daisy.  But he persisted – you could tell he liked her – and she came around after about a week. 

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He is definitely getting comfortable at our place as his personality comes out.
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He is very curious and has expressed a desire to come into the house lol. For now, he settles for mints, marshmallows, and carrots out our back door.  He is the new guest favourite and he’s even got my neighbours trained to bring him treats at the fence – when he sees them, he comes running!
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Taking pictures of him is tricky because he is a camera hog and likes to get his nose right in the camera.  Anyone who sits on my patio is guaranteed to get a kiss in exchange for a neck scratch.  We couldn’t help but fall in love with this little guy.

Thank you to Kirbi and her family for adopting spunky JB!

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Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary ~ saving the world one animal at a time…

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Who is saving Whom? Healing Hope

From the book of Amy’s Analogies

I was standing in the stall doorway with my back to the paddock having a few words with Splash and at my feet standing next to the good sized horse was Walter. A blind horse and a blind dog: both stories of an unbelievable desire to survive, and once survived, an even stronger desire to live a loving life.

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My heart swelled and when I thought I couldn’t have a more perfect moment of joy I turned around to see the animals had created a circle around me. I was the centre of the circle and suddenly the centre of a very important world.

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Each animal told an incredible story of life and as I watched each animal I had a flash of their stories. From Elsa the goat who was abandoned in subzero temperature for eight hours, to Hershel the pig who lost his mom on day one, then my eyes found Sabre an eleven year old deaf rottie whose story of abuse would make many give up, to Nelly the goat who at seventeen showed no signs of slowing down, next in my circle is Heidi an elderly mini horse discarded after her years of showing and breeding came to an end, and finally to Zig the dog who still struggles to overcome the years of abuse.

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I suddenly realized that these animals came to me for saving, but as they built this safe wall around me with their bodies, minds and love I knew I could survive my story.

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There are days of doubt and sometimes the glue that holds it all together during times of struggle is the health and joy radiating out of those eyes. I’ve nurtured these animals so well, but why couldn’t I do the same for myself?

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I’m a caregiver. A helper. A rescuer and I’ve done a few heroic things in my life, but none of that defines who I am at my core.

It’s still a work in progress. All of it. The animals, the rescue, the barn and myself. We will continue to grow, learn and love.

A little self reflection on a very special moment at BCFS.

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Life Through Walter’s Eyes – Part 2

Part Two of our 2-part post for a very special BCFS rescue, Walter, from his week-long visit with volunteer writer Lori. To read Part One please click here.

Walter gained more confidence every day. His bed was in our parlor next to my computer desk, a good place for him. Since he’s vision impaired, when he suddenly waked seeming a bit confused and looking around through his dim eyes, I put my hand down in front of his nose to let him sniff and he relaxed knowing I was there.

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If I wasn’t next to him he’d simply mosey around the house looking or waiting for me, or seeing what my family was doing. What a gem.

There is no way to look at Walter sleeping with his tongue sticking out without smiling.

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Sometimes Walter seemed to be dreaming — click here for video. Knowing what a foodie Walter is, maybe he dreams about food! Walter has a good appetite and gobbles his two daily meals.

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Walter has come a long way since his intake at BCFS about 5 weeks ago, where he was brought from the shelter he was surrendered to.

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Walter’s ear and skin infections are cleared up. His daily eye drops are helping improve his eye health and vision. I hope Walter regains more of his sight; as well as he does nearly blind he’d have a better quality of life with more vision. With improved health and grooming, Walter is now a beautiful dog.

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During Walter’s visit with us my focus was on loving him, helping him on his road to recovery and living the life he deserves. When I was busy doing something and looked down to see Walter right next to me, quietly waiting, I think after the long-term neglect he suffered that what he wants and needs most is to feel wanted. It must be the worst thing in the world to feel unwanted.

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Walter deserves a good life, with a forever adopter who will recognize and appreciate how very special he is, give him lots of tender one-on-one care, laugh and play with him when he’s in a playful mood, give him tushie-rubs and the eye drops he needs, good food, a daily stroll, soft bed and an interesting life that will help Walter enjoy it to the fullest. Someone who will adore Walter and let him know that he’s wanted.

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When the day came to return Walter to BCFS, his big bed was bagged up and set on a stool in the kitchen. Walter sniffed around where his bed had been in the parlor, then sniffed it in the kitchen and his face fell. He knew. He knew this wasn’t forever and my heart broke open for him. He had a palpable sadness, knowing he was leaving. These are my last photos of Walter after he realized it:

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DSCN3232cropexpsharpresizedWalter was sad to leave and didn’t understand why this wasn’t forever. I can only imagine what Walter felt and what he’s experienced in life.

Walter has a way of endearing himself to everyone. Just before my mom and I left to return Walter to BCFS, my dad got a bit choked up saying goodbye to Walter and petting him. See short video.

In the car, laying on his soft bed, Walter had that look of knowing, combined with a look of worriment of where he was headed. Luckily he was headed back to BCFS. My eyes welled up watching him in the back seat as we drove through the beautiful countryside. It doesn’t take long to fall in love with Walter.

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I think of the forever home he’ll have, starting over again and learning his way around, sniffing and bumping into furniture until he learns his new home, having someone he trusts and depends on to be kind, careful and loving with him.  Walter took a piece of my heart with him. I hope he finds a forever family who will care for him until his last breath.

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I’m grateful to Walter for allowing me into his dark, quiet world and trusting me though he really couldn’t see or hear me. I think he read my heart instead. And I read his. Walter has a beautiful heart.

Walter is looking for his place in the sun ~ is that place with you? If Walter is the love you’ve been looking for, please download and complete an adoption application and email it to our Adoptions Coordinator Silvana at:  scronier@rogers.com. BCFS is also seeking a caring foster home for Walter; potential fosters please download and complete a volunteer application and email it to Amy at: mybremner@yahoo.com.

Walter has required veterinary care to improve his health and donations towards his treatment are appreciated.  BCFS is a 100% volunteer registered charity fully dependent on donations and grateful for your contributions for the animals.

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Life Through Walter’s Eyes

If I had to choose just one word to describe Walter, it would be “endearing”. Walter is not only a very likable dog, he’s lovable with an endearing quality.

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Walter is a wonder, that after suffering severe neglect he only wants to be loved and make the rest of his life the best he can make it.

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After BCFS rescued him and worked magic on Walter for weeks he became the dog he was meant to be.

Lori looked after Walter for a week and this is what she had to say: Walter was friendly when we picked him up for a week of puppy-sitting. Once at our house, he quickly chose to trust me. Saturday morning, after less than two days with Walter, he’d taken to me and danced when I came downstairs. He followed me everywhere and his unique personality emerged.

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Walter is a senior chocolate and cream shih tzu mix who was badly neglected, then surrendered to a shelter. BCFS rescued Walter on May 29th and treated his eye, skin and ear infections, plus a dental requiring 23 rotting teeth to be pulled. In safe arms and with good vet care, Walter changed. My family and I had the privilege of caring for Walter the last week of June.

I expected Walter to have a black nose like our shih tzu Bailey’s, but his nose is chocolate brown like a Hershey’s Kiss. Walter is almost completely deaf and blind due to the eye, ear and skin infections he suffered from his neglect, though his vision is improving with medicated eye drops.

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I looked at him and alternated between thinking, “Aww, poor little boy” and “He’s so special.”

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I’ve had lifelong dogs before who went deaf in their senior years but never a dog who’d suffered neglect and is both blind and deaf, so this was a learning experience. What did I learn from Walter, from empathizing with him and imagining what it’s like to be in his paws?

What a good heart Walter has. Walter is clearly glad to be alive. He makes the most of what he has and though his eyes are dim and his ears may pick up only a few faint sounds, he still can sense and feel, taste and most important for a dog, smell. He loves being petted, he loves food, a clean comfy home, fresh air and a balmy breeze in his face with his face raised to the sun, and companionship.

DSCN3167expcropsharpresizedWalter often stood or paused on walks facing the breeze and sun
DSCN3146expsatsharpresizedWalter loves to sniff his way around, he’s engaged with life and his surroundings

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Walter didn’t come through his trials unscathed but he seems to have chosen to forgive or forget whomever neglected him and make a fresh start. Walter has a very special quality to him, of vulnerability, of wanting someone he can trust and place his faith in, wondering if anyone loves him, if he’s wanted in the world or not.

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He has a bit of a wounded heart, but also seems to know he has a great deal of life left to live. Dogs live in the moment and Walter doesn’t want to waste time dwelling on the past. He wants a future to look forward to.

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Walter loves his frisky fun, dancing around when he feels secure with his people. Yes, DANCING! Senior Walter reminds us that you’re only as old as you feel and he gets puppyish at times. Like on his second night here when my mom petted him and I captured Walter dancing on video.

Walter is willing to trust again, despite whatever he’s suffered in life. Clearly he’s either scarred from bad experiences or feels insecure due to his loss of sight and sound, but his trust can be gradually won with kindness and gentle hands.

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Walter nipped me and my mom a few times, but with only 10 teeth left it didn’t break our skin or hurt much. I learned that if I put my hand in front of his face to let him smell me first, he usually didn’t nip.

Walter likes his bum and back rubbed but is touchy about his face. He let me pet the back of his neck and ears and after he took to my dad he let him pet his face and whole head.

Walter likes both women and men and was friendly with our Bailey, adopted from BCFS. Unfortunately Bailey later had difficulty accepting Walter in “his” house where he’s been an “only child” and has had us all to himself for a year and a half.

DSCN2895sharpresizedBailey liked Walter until it came to snack time

Walter loves to explore all his surroundings, letting his nose, sense of feeling and his very dim eyesight guide him. After his first day here, Walter had already spent hours exploring the entire main floor of our house and easily found his way around after a few days.

As impaired as his vision is, he seems to be able to see bright light and shadows and is a good navigator except for stairs – we were careful to keep our kitchen door to the back hall stairs closed. Walter meanders around the house a lot, but also slept more after he felt comfortable here.

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Walter was sweet to watch sleeping, with his pink tongue sticking out.

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Walter’s good on a leash and quite easy to guide around on walks outside though he can’t see much.  See video. He feels the gentle directional pull of the leash on his harness and seemed to follow the scents of me, my mom and Bailey.

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When outside of our home, Bailey liked Walter and the two boys liked to walk together. Fit, bouncy Bailey didn’t mind pausing for slow-poke Walter and me to catch up. Both dogs were extremely patient when my mom and I stopped to chat with neighbors during our walks. Walter met many of our neighbors and was friendly with everyone, even accepting dog treats from our friends down our street. Because Walter is blind, during walks he needs his human to carefully watch out for him and guide him safely outside.

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What does Walter need? How does he handle life being vision impaired?  Just how special is he? Please  see Part 2 of Walter’s BCFS post  for more info, photos and videos of this exceptional boy!

 

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Adopted! Zuma Finds Her Forever Family

For many people, a dog makes a house a home. The love and companionship of a good dog brings joy, and BCFS is pleased to see the big smiles on the faces of pretty Zuma’s new family!

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Zuma is a friendly, sweet Potcake who’s just graduated from BCFS’ foster care program to her forever home! Along with her new mom and dad, cat-friendly Zuma will have two cats for company in her new home and fenced yards to romp in.

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At five years old, Zuma is house-trained, good in the car, understands “sit” and “wait” and is crate-trained, too.  She should easily blend into her new family.

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Potcakes are a mixed breed that originated in the Bahamas who are known for their loyalty, intelligence and friendliness, so Zuma will make a perfect pooch for her new family.

Zuma’s new family sent a short update on how she’s settling in:

Zuma is doing well. She seems to be getting over her initial nervousness. We do think that she misses Pat, who we think she really bonded with. Thus far she’s getting along really well with our cats and they have taken to her quickly.  We’ve introduced her to the wood lot by our house and she seemed to like it. Generally, she really loves her walks and snuggles on the coach. You also weren’t kidding about the car rides. She really loves being in the car. She’s just such a great pup, we’re thrilled to have her with us.

We’re glad to have found a forever home for another BCFS rescue, and grateful for people who adopt, don’t shop!

Congratulations and thank you to Zuma’s new parents!