by Betty Bardswich
MANITOULIN—Oh my, the excitement! The great anticipation. The tears and laughter. Ten couples waited at Toronto’s Pearson Airport Air Canada Cargo West building on June 1 for a very special delivery. People came from Collingwood, Bowmanville, Whitby and other parts of Ontario as well as Fall River, Nova Scotia to meet their canine fosterdogs who had come all the way from Turkey.
Overseeing the orderly welcome for the dogs and their handover to their new owners were volunteers from Golden Rescue, a Canadian not-for-profit organization that has been rescuing and rehoming golden retrievers for over 25 years.
Volunteer Vive Tann, chair of the Golden Rescue Board of Directors, had welcomed the expectant owners saying, “A huge thank you to all of you who are here to adopt and open your homes and your hearts to these goldens.” This was the ninth Mission of Love of the organization for Operation Instanbul, an initiative to rescue dogs from a country that does not support euthanization. Hundreds of dogs are spayed or neutered and receive their rabies shots and are left to survive on the streets, in the woods or in shelters.
Goldens are a docile bunch and do not fare the best on the streets of Istanbul as they are attacked by other dogs. A volunteer funded trip to that city to size up the situation of the goldens led to the Canadian organization extending their reach beyond this country. Many of these dogs from Turkey have found forever homes here and Golden Rescue will continue to transport the animals, stopping only when weather gets too hot, as Air Canada will not allow the transport of the goldens under those circumstances. A temperature of 29°C at either Instanbul or Toronto airports will mean the end of rescues for a while.
When the goldens arrive at Cargo West, they are released one by one from their travel crates and two volunteers spend a few minutes to reassure the dogs after their long flight and tie a bandana with their name on it on them. The animals are already wearing a necklace of Turkish charms, called Nazars, made by the shelter workers in Istanbul to insure safe travel. They are then passed on to their owners-to-be who are given an envelope containing a health passport, which includes confirmation of the rabies vaccine, a Turkish commands and translation sheet, two home alone wallet cards, a vet information sheet and a copy of the organization’s quarterly newsletter. The dogs are given water and a trip outside before posing for a group photo and heading off to their new homes.
Here on Manitoulin, goldens are also included with the rescues of any type of dog or cat by Manitoulin Pet Rescue. As one of the founding members of the organization told The Expositor, there have already been 55 rescues and adoptions by the organization since its inception in September of 2015. Julie McDermid also added that, “Our foster families are slowly increasing which allows us to help more animals in need. We are still experiencing a huge shortage of foster homes for cats and kittens. The communities on Manitoulin and the North Shore have shown us such tremendous support by sharing all our adoption posts with families and friends, by donating gently used pet supplies and food and by providing financial donations.”
The Manitoulin Pet Rescue association has great plans for the year ahead with t-shirts and goodies for sale and other fundraising. Check out the awesome prizes that will be showcased at the Mindemoya Market along with wallet cards selling for $3 which will tell others about your pets at home if you are in an accident or end up in the hospital for other reasons.
Ms. McDermid also emphasized that the work of the organization could not have been done without the donations made to the organization that allows Manitoulin Pet Rescue to save and rehome animals in need. Tax receipts will be issued for all financial donations. The group welcomes new members who can help with fundraising, transporting and fostering. The mailing address is Manitoulin Pet Rescue, PO Box 29, Mindemoya, ON P0P 1S0.
For cat intake and adoptions, contact Kathy Jewell at 705-377-4744 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org
For dog intake and adoptions, contact Julie McDermid at 705-377-4800 or go to email@example.com.