Labrador animal shelter, battered by a harsh winter, badly needs repairs to stay open, says president

·2 min read
Animals like this cat were unable to stay in the shelter last summer due to excessive heat. (Darryl Dinn/CBC - image credit)
Animals like this cat were unable to stay in the shelter last summer due to excessive heat. (Darryl Dinn/CBC - image credit)

The acting president of an animal shelter in Labrador says its building is badly in need of renovation to keep animals in need safely in the community.

Kelley Pafford, operator of Faiths Haven Animal Shelter in Wabush, said this year's harsh winter was hard on the shelter's structure. In April, the roof partially collapsed, the latest in a series of incidents at the building, some of which she says have put animals in danger.

"In January or February month, we came in twice and our heaters had just completely shut down," Pafford told CBC News on Wednesday. "One particular time we had two rabbits here, and we had to offer critical care to them because we almost lost them because it was just so cold."

Pafford said water has seeped into the building in recent months, and the shelter was unable to house animals last summer due to the heat. One dog died last summer because it had no place to go, she said.

The shelter has 18 animals in foster care, many of them dogs they don't have the space to care for.

And the number of animals coming into the shelter has gone up, Pafford said. She believes it's an effect of a housing shortage in the region, as owners who can't find a suitable place to live with their pets are forced to surrender them. The shelter also brings in stray animals and pets who are victims of abuse.

She said the shelter is hoping to have repairs down this summer so it will be able to continue to operate.

Darryl Dinn/CBC
Darryl Dinn/CBC

"I just don't ever want to post that our shelter is closed now because we can no longer afford [it] or we don't have the space to open their doors," Pafford said. That's going to [force] somebody, and many families actually, to make some really tough decisions about the welfare of their pets."

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