Help Patches the life-changing surgery

The call came in late November. Temperatures were -35C … so cold that nothing could survive for long. Especially not the young male mixed breed dog wandering around on the highway.

We came to know this loveable guy as Patches. Black, white, and under 2 years old, he was having a very difficult time moving around. Witnesses reported him being repeatedly kicked on his back end, which may have been why moving was so painful and debilitating for him. A woman saw him and offered him a warm bed and food in her home at night. She did an amazing job, considering what this little guy was going through. But his days were spent rummaging for food, wandering around, and walking onto the highway, where he was sure to be killed. The kind woman contacted Spirit’s Mission for help.

Patches3

Once Patches was surrendered to Spirit’s Mission, we had him checked by a veterinarian. Both his back knees were injured and needed surgery, possibly the result of constantly being kicked, or perhaps he had been already hit by a car. Whichever reason, he was going to need serious medical attention.

Spirit’s Mission was given an estimate of surgical costs from $6,000 to $9,000 – much more than our funds could spare. Luckily, there are other organizations who care as much about neglected animals as we do. Prince George Humane Society stepped forward to share the cost with us, and give Patches a loving foster home until his surgery. Only one knee at a time can be done, and his rear right leg will be fixed first.

Can you help Patches with his surgery costs? Any amount, no matter how small, can make a difference. Please click here to donate online via CanadaHelps. Stay tuned, as more news comes in about Patches’ journey. He is now safe and is looking for an amazing forever home of his own! Interested in adopting Patches? Contact us, or Prince George Humane Society, for information.

Patches4

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Help Patches the life-changing surgery

Happy Tails: Gus

Our new Happy Tails series will introduce you to some of the animals rescued and aided by Spirit’s Mission. We’re pleased to kick off the series with Gus, our very first Happy Tail, written by our Treasurer, Vicki!

Gus-9

Gus was Spirit’s Mission’s first rescue/surrender from Saik’uz. It is unknown whether he was ‘dumped’ on the reserve in 2013 as a very young puppy, or if he was born to a stray Saik’uz dog, but either way he was homeless.

Gus managed to survive the first year of his life, enduring the brutal northern winter, and when Spirit’s Mission held our first wellness clinic at Saik’uz in 2014, he was brought in by a family from the community who said the whole community wanted him gone. He was a stray, he was a nuisance, he was a pest.

After some discussion amongst the Spirit’s Mission crew, it was agreed that Gus would come home with me.

Gus had a few things going for him. Despite being homeless, he loved people, he got along well with the community dogs, and he had the most gorgeous blue eyes, pleading for love and a home.

DSC00409

The first months with Gus were a challenge. He had never been in a house and was not house-trained, could be destructive, and suffered from separation anxiety when left alone. He would not come when called, and in fact would avoid coming near whenever someone reached out to him, instead displaying his distrust with repeated games of “keep-away”. But he desperately wanted to be close, to be petted, to be loved, and gradually, with the help of his new dog-sister Weezie and big dog-brother Diesel, he learned that coming when called meant really good things could happen including all the perks of being a house dog.

DSC01540

Now, 2 ½ years later, Gus has come so very far. No more “keep-away” for him. He comes like a rocket when called! He has learned so many things, and is in fact trained in the skills of a Service Dog. As a dog trainer for Citadel Canine Society, I train service dogs to help veterans and first responders with PTSD. Gus works with me as my demo dog, helping Citadel candidates learn how to work with the service dogs they have been given. My handsome, very special, very clever blue-eyed partner is a star!

IMGP1313

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Happy Tails: Gus

UPDATE: Poppy gets her first massage!

Back in November, we introduced you to Poppy, one of our recent rescues who required extensive medical treatment after being hit by a car. In December, we showed you just how far Poppy had come in her rehabilitation, as she enjoyed a snowy winter walk with her foster mom.

Earlier this month, Poppy had her first massage and red light therapy appointment, both designed to help improve the mobility in her injured leg and help the wound, which is still open, to better heal.

Here are some photos from Poppy’s treatment – she looks pretty relaxed!

15841196_10154966507651155_1547775595_n

15822073_10154966353291155_2082561308_n

Poppy’s wound continues to heal very well and her mobility has dramatically improved. In fact, it is our hope that she’ll be ready for regular exercise within the next month or so!

Our girl has come such a long way – and we must thank her amazing foster mom, Willow, for providing such dedicated and loving care during Poppy’s rehabilitation, as well as our donors who have so generously contributed to Poppy’s medical costs. Poppy thanks you too!

15841461_10154966353051155_487432488_n

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on UPDATE: Poppy gets her first massage!

Happy Holidays from Spirit’s Mission

As 2016 rapidly comes to a close, we reflected on the past year and wanted to share with you some of the highlights of our work with companion animals in remote and northern BC communities.

This past spring, we hosted another successful wellness clinic in the Saik’uz First Nations community. With our volunteer veterinarians from Petroglyph Animal Hospital and Nechako Animal Health Clinic, 37 dogs and 14 cats were given health checks, deworming, vaccinations and grooming as needed. These animals would not have had access to veterinary care without our clinic. Lakes Animal Friendship Society representatives also attended the clinic to offer humane education to the community’s youth – including making doghouses together for local dogs.

Also in the spring, we celebrated our founder, Gail Moerkerken, at a special celebration of life. We were honoured to present the first annual Gail’s Spirit Award to local Nanaimo student, Emily Holmes. Emily is a dedicated volunteer in her community, a passionate advocate for animal welfare, and will be pursuing a career in veterinary medicine.

We also accepted five surrendered dogs and two cats into our care this year, including Poppy, a young dog we rescued after she was hit by a car, and received no pain relief or medical treatment for weeks. You can see an update on Poppy further down in this newsletter. We also funded several spay/neuter surgeries in the Saik’uz community.

We’d like to thank you for your support this past year, including coming out to our annual Santa Paws photo sessions – your generous donations will help us maintain and continue to grow these programs next year. Please keep our Pawsitive Links bracelets in your gift giving, and also remember that horse hair bracelets (your horse or ours) are also available with a portion of the donations going to Spirit’s Mission. We also thank you for continuing to spread the good news of our work, and asking others to sign up for our newsletter through the Spirit’s Mission website.

On behalf of the Spirit’s Mission Board of Directors, I’d like to wish all of our supporters and volunteers the warmest of holidays and a happy and healthy new year. Here’s to working together to help more animals in 2017!

Joanne Caldwell
President
Spirit’s Mission

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Happy Holidays from Spirit’s Mission

UPDATE: Poppy’s Recovery Is Going Well!

Last month we introduced you to Poppy, a young yellow lab mix who was surrendered to Spirit’s Mission after she was hit by a car and her injuries left untreated. Among her many injuries was a severely damaged leg, which made walking quite difficult.

We’re happy to report that not only is Poppy recovering well in her foster home, but she has improved enough to enjoy the snow and go for winter walks with her foster family. Here are some photos that her foster mom has shared with us.

poppy_dec_2016_cropped

poppy_dec_2016

Look at those ears! Poppy is a sweet dog and it warms our hearts to see her enjoying life the way a dog should.

Poppy still has a ways to go in her recovery – unsurprisingly given the extent of her original injuries, her knee does still give her some pain and she’ll be visiting the vet this week to find out what more can be done for her. We’re looking into getting her some massage treatments as well. We owe a big, big thank you to Willow at Crooked Leg Ranch for providing Poppy with an incredible foster home!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to help out with Poppy’s medical bills. She still has a ways to go before she’ll be ready for adoption, and your continued support is welcomed appreciated. We’ll keep you posted on Poppy’s ongoing recovery – follow us on Facebook or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on stories like hers and other news from Spirit’s Mission.

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on UPDATE: Poppy’s Recovery Is Going Well!

Thank you to everyone who came out for Santa Paws photos!

Yesterday we wrapped up our final of three Santa Paws photo sessions, and we want to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone who brought their pets out to visit Santa and get a photo. Thanks to your generosity and support, we raised an astonishing $1750! These funds will go a long way towards our work in northern BC, including helping dogs like Poppy, who we introduced you to last month.

Of course, an event like this doesn’t happen without some hard work, and we’d be remiss not to thank those who made this all possible. We’d like to first and foremost thank Ron and Karen Potter, our Santa & Elf, who not only organize the event, but also volunteer their time on three separate Saturdays. This  event wouldn’t happen without Ron and Karen, and we are so appreciative to have them as part of the Spirit’s Mission family.

38-3169_resized

This event also wouldn’t be possible without our volunteer photographers, who not only give up a Saturday in order to take the photos, but who also spend hours afterwards doing touch ups and editing work to make sure your pets look their best with Santa. Our deepest gratitude goes to Alice and Leroy from Summer & Co. Photography, Sue Williams, and Bill Brown. You can view some of the photos from this year’s sessions on our Facebook page.

To the staff at Bosley’s – thank you for welcoming us into your stores and for whole-heartedly embracing the spirit of the event by bringing your own pets in to see Santa! We can’t thank you enough for your hospitality, and the amazing goody bags you had prepared for participants!

Of course, we also have to give a shout out to our very special volunteers – the true elves of the season. They gave their time to help out at each photo session and also worked hard behind the scenes to ensure the event was a success.

And finally, thank YOU Nanaimo! Even with all the hard work of our volunteers, these events wouldn’t be successful without your participation, and you took our breath away with your support this year. Thank you for your concern for animals in need – it is your donations and generosity that make our life-saving work with animals in northern BC possible.

From our families to yours, we wish you joy this holiday season a a happy and healthy 2017!

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Thank you to everyone who came out for Santa Paws photos!

Making a difference with alternative gift giving

I dread the idea of shopping at Christmas.

As I get older, thinking about fighting the crowds and line ups at stores seems grueling. So is wondering how much to spend on each person’s gift, and hoping to find just the right item. Going to the mall to search for that perfect gift can take hours, if not days. It wears me down and by Christmas Day I can feel too exhausted to really enjoy the holiday spirit. And in my case, mailing gifts away to family and friends before the postal deadline is expensive and pretty stressful too. It just doesn’t seem to fit what the “giving” in Christmas represents. For me, there is a much deeper meaning than just exchanging gifts.

When I give a gift, I want it to mean something. I want whoever receives my gift to know that that gift made a difference in the world.

As my children got older, got married and had families of their own (families that are now growing up fast too!), they seemed to have everything they needed, which made buying gifts even harder.

So I started a new family gift-giving tradition. Instead of all the guessing what they might need, I “give” in their names, to those who need someone to make a difference in their life.

Have you considered this type of alternative gift giving? Did you know you can give this type of gift by donating to Spirit’s Mission? Every year, we are called upon to help animals with rescue, spay/neutering, vaccinations and other preventative health care. I know when I give to Spirit’s Mission, I am making a difference in an animal’s life. I am helping them to be safe. I am helping to give them the life they deserve.

And my family and friends love receiving the gift of knowing that, on their behalf, an animal’s life was saved.

Please consider helping an animal in your name, or someone else’s name, this Christmas. Any amount, however small, makes a difference. If you donate $20 or more, we will send you a tax deductible receipt. If you find it in your heart to give $50 or more, we will send you the tax deductible receipt and will also send a Certificate of Appreciation to the recipient you chose, with a handwritten note of thanks (acknowledging you as the gift giver) and a Pawsitive Links bracelet.

If you would like to make a tribute gift of $50 or more in honour of a loved one, for any occasion, please indicate the following information in the “Message for Spirit’s Mission” box on the CanadaHelps donation page:

  • Full name and address of recipient
  • Occasion for gift (Holidays, Birthday, Memoriam, etc)
  • Size of Pawsitive Links bracelet – available in 1/2 sizes from 6.5 (Child) to 9.5 inches

Donating to Spirit’s Mission means you are giving a gift that makes a difference. Let us take away the malls and line ups and do the mailing for you. It will help to ease some of the stress of the holidays for you, but also, you will have made a tangible difference in an animal’s life.

Seasons Greetings,

Joanne Caldwell
President
Spirit’s Mission Rescue Society

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Making a difference with alternative gift giving

Pawsitive Links bracelets make great gifts for animal lovers!

IMG_0619Looking for a unique holiday gift for the animal lover in your life? Pawsitive Links charm bracelets are not only a beautiful, personal gift for your friends and family, they also help animals in need. They also make wonderful thank you gifts for pet sitters, groomers, veterinarians and other animal care professionals.

These handcrafted bracelets are made from recycled choke chains and come with one charm for $20. You can also add extra charms to each bracelet for a small additional cost. We have a large selection of charms available, including dogs, cats, horses, birds, and ocean life.

all-charms

Purchasing is easy – you can place an online order through our Etsy shop, direct message us on Facebook, or send an email to info@spiritsmission.com.  If you’d like to customize a bracelet with additional charms or if you would like information on additional charms available, please send us a message or email and we’d be happy to discuss options and prices.

You can also purchase Pawsitive Links bracelets in person at:

Bracelets are pre-packaged for easy gift wrapping and include a card explaining the purpose of the Pawsitive Links program and a brochure outlining how the proceeds will help BC animals.

pawsitive_links_newsletter

Why recycled choke chains? We are committed to positive dog training methods and believe that choke chains and prong collars are best used as fashion accessories – not dog training tools! You can help us spread the word about positive training techniques by wearing a Pawsitive Links bracelet. They are great conversation starters!

All funds raised from the sale of Pawsitive Links bracelets support our animal wellness activities in BC, including helping to fund life-saving surgery for Poppy, a young yellow lab mix who recently came into our care after being hit by a car.

The holidays are creeping up fast – order now to ensure your bracelet arrives in time!

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Pawsitive Links bracelets make great gifts for animal lovers!

URGENT APPEAL: Poppy needs your help!

2016-poppy

All she wanted was for the pain to stop.

She was a yellow lab cross, under a year old and living in an isolated community with no veterinarian services; a community Spirit’s Mission Rescue Society serves, thanks to the generous donations of our supporters.

Every day, the little dog followed a young boy to school. But on one fateful day, she was hit by a vehicle. She suffered severe trauma – deep slashes to a back leg and what appeared to be road rash, most likely from being dragged by the vehicle.  At first, it was thought she suffered a broken leg.

The little dog lay many, many days, even weeks, in excruciating pain, holding her injured leg close to her body because all she wanted was for the pain to stop as her injuries were left entirely untreated.

The little dog’s family finally did the right thing because they knew that Spirit’s Mission could help relieve her pain.  After so much suffering, she was taken to Nechako Valley Animal Health Services (NVAHS) in Vanderhoof, where she was signed over to our ownership and care.  The wonderful NVAHS staff immediately went to work, giving her sedation and pain medication, antibiotics for a raging infection and taking X-rays of her injured body.

Luckily, the dog’s leg was not broken, but because she held her leg close to her body to protect it from further pain, the leg had begun to heal in all the wrong places.  Her injured leg was 2 inches shorter than the other back leg, and all her muscle and tissues were twisted, causing even more pain.

This little dog, now re-named Poppy because she was rescued in the days just before Remberance Day, has received life-saving surgery from NVAHS and will regain full function of her leg.  Spirit’s Mission is committed to paying for her medical care and overseeing the long period of recovery that will be needed.  She will need ongoing vet care for several weeks, including painful dressing changes.  When she is strong enough, she will be spayed, vaccinated and then Spirit’s Mission will go to work finding this little angel a loving fur-ever home of her own.

Poppy’s medical costs will be well over $3,000, plus transportation costs to get her to a larger community where Spirit’s Mission can find her that home.

If you can help with medical, post-operative and transportation costs, Poppy will be fur-ever grateful.  She will be giving big high-paws for the amazing care that NVAHS has given her, and the Spirit’s Mission volunteers who will foster her during her recovery. She will also send a big snuggly thank you to Willow from Crooked Leg Ranch, who will be helping with Poppy’s immediate recovery until she is well enough to travel to the foster home.

Please donate today to help with Poppy’s recovery. We offer our deepest thanks, because it is animals like Poppy that are lucky enough to find a new life because of your continued support.

img_3429

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on URGENT APPEAL: Poppy needs your help!

Santa Paws is coming to Nanaimo!

santa_paws

Santa Paws is coming to Nanaimo on three different Saturdays to spread good cheer, pose for family and pet photos, and help Spirit’s Mission raise funds for our life-saving work for companion animals in Northern BC.

For just $10, we’ll take a high-quality photo of your pet(s) with Santa and Mrs. Claus and conveniently email you the photo after the event. You can use the digital file to post on social media, send to your friends, or print copies for your holiday cards. Pose as a family or get a picture with just your pets and Santa, either way, these photographs will be a beautiful memory for years to come. All pets are welcome – last year Santa saw dogs of all shapes and sizes, cats of every colour and even two very special and very fancy guinea pigs!

guinea-pigs

There are three dates and locations to choose from (please click on the links for addresses):

Each session will run from 11am until 3pm. Remember, the more, the merrier, so share the event with your friends and family – you could even meet up for a photo together and then head for a hot drink and a stop at the dog park afterwards!

Tauro

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Santa Paws is coming to Nanaimo!