Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Collar a good doggy deal

For some, they're 'living, breathing, furry people'

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Allie Lapointe, her mom, Chantelle, with Midas, the dog they bought from Winnipeg animal services.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Allie Lapointe, her mom, Chantelle, with Midas, the dog they bought from Winnipeg animal services. Photo Store

The city's offering a deal to dog lovers.

Overcrowding at the city's animal services facility on Logan Avenue prompted a sale Sunday for stray dogs: $99 gets a pet that's spayed, neutered, with shots, an ID microchip and a licence for a year. The regular rate is $139.99.

The pound's also throwing in pet food and pet-health insurance with every purchase.

The sale lasts through Tuesday.

"We've definitely had an increase in traffic today," said animal-services spokesman Leland Gordon after the first half-dozen prospective owners took pets home Sunday.

Saturday, the pound's numbers hit 48, about a dozen over capacity for the facility at 1057 Logan Ave.

Gordon issued a public notice the same day, announcing 29 of the dogs would go up for adoption over the following three days. None of the dogs wore current licences when they were picked up and couldn't be returned to their original homes.

"We were pushing 50 dogs in the building, which is a little too much," Gordon said. "It was a good time to have a dog sale."

Near Fisher Branch, meanwhile, Chantelle Lapointe and her daughter, Allie, had been watching the city's website for a dog sale.

The city website runs a photo lineup of adoptable dogs and counts 7,000 fans on its Facebook site, part of a continuous social-media campaign find homes for strays.

The Lapointes adopted a year-old Rottweiler-mastiff cross named Midas "as in King Midas with the Midas touch. That's his name here, and we're going to keep it," Chantelle said.

"We've actually been watching for this. We were looking for another male. We have three dogs from animal services and we've been lucky so we thought we'd come down and see if there was someone who was a good fit," Chantelle said.

For the Lapointes, a dog isn't an animal. "They're not possessions. They're living, breathing, furry people," Chantelle said.

The two-hour trip from the country was worth the drive, mother and daughter said.

Midas strained at the leash but never barked once, a plus for a lot of families looking at adopting an animal.

Meanwhile in the pound's kennels, dog after dog watched prospective new owners look them over. Callie, a slender year-old shepherd mix never barked once, but she held out her paw to everyone who stopped at her kennel. "She likes to hold hands," one of the pound technicians said.

Loki, a fleshy-looking adult bull-dog male that was so ugly he was cute, was the first dog in the kennel, the poster boy who greeted every new comer with a wagging tail and a deep bark.

Vin Diesel is a mastiff mix and on his hind legs, he's got to be 5-9. Dubbs, on the other hand, is a senior with an appealing gaze that will melt your heart.

Gordon said all the dogs have different personalities.

Some 95 per cent of the dogs picked up as strays are adopted to new homes or sent to animal-rescue facilities. The dog the Lapointes took home, for instance, had been picked up in June, weeks earlier. The city policy is to euthanize only aggressive or terminally ill dogs.

"Ninety-five per cent is huge. It's a number Winnipeggers can be proud of," Gordon said. "We do as much as we can to save the animals."

Some 856 dogs, all with current licences, were picked up last year and returned to owners through the city's 311 service.

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2014 B1

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Updated on Monday, July 21, 2014 at 6:48 AM CDT: Replaces photo

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