Pamela Saddler and Kathleen Davis show off two rescued and recovering pups. The women run the volunteer Broken Promises animal rescue society.

Saving the region’s broken and abused pets

Mending animals and finding new homes becomes a full-time job for small group of volunteers with Broken Promises.

Kathleen Davis holds Petey in her lap, a friendly little poodle cross with short cropped black fur.

Until you wave a hand or snap a finger, it’s hard to know Petey is mostly blind and deaf, the result of severe neglect. When Broken Promises animal rescue got a hold of him, his nails were growing into his feet, his teeth were rotten and infected, and one of his eyes had collapsed.

“His hair was so matted we didn’t know which end was his face,” grimaced Pamela Saddler, who with Davis and Cora Timothy, make up a volunteer animal rescue squad. They pride themselves on trying to save the most neglected, most medically complicated animals which land in the pound system.

Animal shelters in B.C. won’t destroy animals to make room, but at times animals with severe and expensive medical problems may be put down.

“We are working to help the ones overlooked in shelters due to their breed or health,” says Saddler, a Langford resident who works for Camosun College. “We pull in the ones where it’s their last shot.”

“We take the dogs and cats that no one else will take, the ones where it takes a huge amount of money to patch up,” Davis notes.

Veteran animal rescuers, Davis and Saddler have decades of experience patching up abused strays and finding them good homes. Saddler started 15 years ago after rescuing a box of kittens abandoned on the side of a highway. She went on to become president of the Greater Victoria Animal Crusaders and launched a website for lost pets.

Davis works for the Capital Regional District pound and started fostering dogs and cats at her Saanich home. “One year I (fostered) 40 or 50 orphaned kittens. Bottle feeding can get tiring.”

The women joined forces, creating the non-profit Broken Promises in December 2010, with the main goal of saving those animal too abused and broken for shelters to mend. Beyond the Capital Region, they receive animals from shelters in Chilliwack and as far as Terrace, thanks to free air transport by Pacific Coastal Airlines.

Finding and vetting foster homes, fundraising money, organizing medical checkups and surgeries, amid the constant influx of animals, can become an all-consuming, full time job.

“I do this every waking moment outside my day job. It’s 20 to 30 emails a day that need responses, scrambling to make vet appointments,” Saddler says. “It’s taking them there, picking them up, doing home visits for adoption and foster homes.

“Not all houses are OK. (Recently) I did five house checks for cats. It’s a lot of running around. It has to be a right fit for everybody, not only the animal, but the family too.”

To date, the group has rescued and rehabilitated 35 dogs and 25 cats, with the majority adopted out, but any overflow falls to the women. Saddler cares for a small herd of cats at her house, and she feeds feral cat colonies living in forests around Langford. Davis usually has a few extra dogs at her home keeping company with three she owns.

As a society, they’ve spent $35,000 on veterinary and medical bills over their first year of operations – typically neglected dogs and cats come in with infected teeth and claws, skin infections, diseases and sometimes broken limbs.

“We help who we can at the time, but we can’t take everybody,” Davis says. “We’re fortunate we’ve never said no yet.”

Saving animals is such an integral part of their lives, Davis and Saddler find it hard to pinpoint why they go through the effort, especially when they’re forced to spend more money than fundraising brings in.

“I found one cat in a ditch, deaf and blind,” Saddler says. “She lasted two months and died loved, instead of in a ditch. That is why we do it.”

And not all saved animals live long lives, but they live better lives. Davis doesn’t expect Petey the poodle to survive long after the trauma it went through, but will have a comfortable life from now on.

“This dog doesn’t have a huge life expectancy,” Davis says. “All this dog wants is to be held and snuggled.”

“I just love animals. I think I was supposed to do this,” Saddler says. “To see what a good life they can have is rewarding.”

See www.brokenpromisesrescue.com.

 

Just Posted

Saanich crash victim leaves behind pregnant wife and young son

The death of a Saanich man has left behind a grieving widow,… Continue reading

Material spill slows traffic on Highway 1 near Victoria

You may experience heavier traffic than normal if you’re headed from Victoria… Continue reading

PACE concert raises $6,500 for Langford family

Cathy Shotton recently donated her kidney to her daughter, Nicki

Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleaup

Thousands of butts were picked up by the Greater Victoria Green team recently

VicPD officers hurt in separate weekend incidents

Both altercations involved aggressive individuals encountered by police

Flu could see greater transmission in 2017

Health asking the public to get their flu vaccinations leading into a flu season that could start early and affect many in 2017.

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Flu could see greater transmission in 2017

Health asking the public to get their flu vaccinations leading into a flu season that could start early and affect many in 2017.

Nanaimo man assaulted, tied up and robbed at his home

Incident occurred about 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at a home on Beverly Drive

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Red hot Vikes women to host playoff opener

UVic Vikes This Week: basketball season kicks off at home

Most Read