Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Donors replace canine supplies

Reaction to theft amazes group

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A local volunteer dog-rescue group that had dozens of boxes of supplies stolen has more than recouped its losses, thanks to the generous donations of many Winnipeggers.

Jill Britton, a volunteer with Hull's Haven Border Collie Rescue, said since the Free Press reported the theft Sunday, the organization has received an outpouring of donations that more than makes up for what was stolen.

"We've been getting donations from so many different sources. We've gotten tons from Winnipeggers, but elsewhere, too. We got some from Texas, California, Ontario, Alberta. We're actually going to be able to accomplish more than we could have initially accomplished," Britton said.

Forty-four boxes of supplies were stolen from behind Britton's Windsor Park home Tuesday evening. The supplies were to be sent to Norway House Animal Rescue Network, an organization that cares for and finds homes for stray dogs in the northern Manitoba community.

As many of these communities have an overpopulation of stray dogs and few veterinary services, many dogs are shot as a method of animal control.

After the boxes full of food, blankets and cleaning supplies were stolen, Britton worried that many dogs brought to Norway House would die. She planned to transport the supplies Dec. 7.

But thanks to what she calls the "mind-bogglingly awesome support" following the theft, Britton will be travelling to Norway House with much more than just dry food and blankets.

"We're working with our vet to supply us with medical supplies and vaccinations that we would not have originally been able to afford to get. So the long-term benefits of that will be amazing," Britton said. "We might be able to do some preventative care up there so that dogs either don't get sick or they don't get too sick, so they won't have to be emergency-flown into Winnipeg, which is upwards of $240 a dog."

Britton said she hopes her story will inspire new legislation to protect stray dogs and bring more support to organizations such as Hull's Haven and Norway House.

"This has created so much awareness. The right people are starting to ask the right questions, which is fantastic. It's going to be able to hopefully open a lot of doors," she said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2012 A5

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