Update: Six puppies surrendered days before Christmas growing so fast! - BC SPCA
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Update: Six puppies surrendered days before Christmas growing so fast!

April 5, 2024

They were surrendered just days before Christmas to the BC SPCA’s Chilliwack animal centre. These six adorable six-week-old Great Pyrenees, border collie mix puppies found themselves away from their mom and the home they knew and in the care of the BC SPCA.

“We are very grateful the owners came to us with the puppies when they realized they could no longer afford their care,” says Eileen Drever, the BC SPCA’s senior officer protection and stakeholder relations.

Three of the BC SPCA’s amazing volunteer fosters were able to take two of the puppies each until they were ready to be adopted. “It is so important to get puppies out of the overwhelming animal centre environment and into a home where they can be house trained and socialized,” says Drever. “These fosters stepped up right before the holidays to help these wee ones in need, it’s incredible really.”

And what happened to these precious puppies who love to snuggle? They all found forever homes! You won’t believe how much they have grown.

Meet ‘Gnocchi’ (formerly Miles)

Gnocchi’s dad read about the six puppies in the news and he knew he had to make a home for one of them. “My goal originally was to meet all of them if I could,” says Giovanni. “But in the end, I met the one who was perfect for me.” He walked into the Chilliwack animal centre and there was Gnocchi who had just been brought into the centre by his foster.

“That first meeting was super cute,” says Giovanni. “I couldn’t say no to Gnocchi.” Giovanni adds that when he was a kid, his family had a golden retriever named Bailey and Gnocchi reminded him of that dog.

Giovanni says that Gnocchi is a big boy now. “He is only four and a half months old and he is already more than 40 pounds,” he says. “He loves food, but he loves people more than anything. Every time he sees someone, he runs up to them and then immediately flips over onto his back looking for a belly rub.” They are still working on his crate training (he is not a big fan) and getting him used to what sunny days look and feel like. “When we first got Gnocchi, there was a lot of snow and heavy rain. He would just stand outside and not move. That was the inspiration for his name. He would stand there like a potato,” says Giovanni. “Now that the weather is getting better and the sun is out, we are seeing his more active side. He loves to go outside and run around.”

Meet Zoe

Torella heard about the puppies from a news story her brother-in-law sent her husband. “My 11-year-old daughter was hopeful to adopt a dog and was regularly checking the BC SPCA website, sending dog profiles,” says Torella. “We ended up driving to the Chilliwack animal centre one weekend to see if any of the puppies were there. When we walked into the centre, we were told another family was viewing the puppies. They ended up adopting Zoe’s sibling who interacted more with their young children.  When we were introduced to Zoe, she went straight to my husband and then found our daughter”.  Although Zoe had shied away from the first family, she was immediately taken with Torella’s family. “My daughter fell in love with Zoe immediately. There wasn’t any question we were bringing her home.”

Zoe was nine-weeks-old when she came home with her new family. She settled in quite quickly. Torella tried crate training with Zoe, but she didn’t like it, so they got her a large playpen area to keep her safe. “We enrolled her in puppy preschool. The whole family worked with her on her commands like ‘leave it,’ which she picked up really quickly,” says Torella. “She is very smart.”

In terms of her size, Zoe weights 33 pounds now. “She is good around other dogs, but is still a little fearful around people,” Torella says. “When she gets tired of her toys – she prefers things like pillows off the couch. They have definitely taken some abuse”.  Zoe also has a few quirks like pinning her ears back at times when she is unsure about something or feeling playful. Zoe also finds crazy positions to sleep in – which makes her family laugh.

Originally, Torella’s husband was looking to adopt an older dog, but Zoe found a way to win him over “Now he is completely smitten” and brings home new toys and treats for Zoe.  Torella says, “It has been ten years since we had a dog in our home and we didn’t realize how much we missed it until Zoe came into our lives.”

Meet Ollie (formerly Hector)

Hannah and Nathen heard about the puppies from the story posted to the BC SPCA’s website. They kept checking the adoption page and one day one of the puppies turned up. “We submitted an application right away,” she says. Because there was no photo yet with the adoption profile, their first meeting was also the first time they saw him. “He was absolutely perfect,” says Hannah. “He was shy and quiet at first, but he learned quickly that we were his family.”

Once they got Ollie home, they realized just how energetic he was. “Getting a puppy is no joke,” she says. Ollie is the only pet in their home, but there are lots of uncles and aunts to visit who have dogs. “One of the dogs we see regularly lives on a farm. Ollie loves to see all the ducks and chickens.”

Ollie is always making the family laugh. “He is very vocal and loves to make all the silly puppy noises he can,” says Hannah. “I hope he doesn’t grow out of it.”  Hannah adds that Ollie is also a very quick learner, and loves working on new commands. “Ollie has come into our lives and turned it technicolour.”

Meet Ophelia

Karen read about the puppies on the Chilliwack BC SPCA’s Facebook page and immediately went into the animal centre to see if there were any still available. “We were introduced to Ophelia and it was love at first sight,” says Karen. “We spent 20 minutes on the floor playing with her. We couldn’t wait to complete the paperwork and take her home.”

Ophelia has been settling in nicely in her forever home. “We have a nine-year-old Chihuahua cross named Zoey who is getting used to having a new sibling in the house,” says Karen. “They both get a little jealous if one is getting more attention.” Their five-year-old cat named May has already made it clear to Ophelia that they probably won’t be friends. It isn’t personal, May isn’t a huge fan of Zoey’s either.

Ophelia snuggling up to Zoey and hanging out in the kitchen.

In terms of potty-training Ophelia has been doing really well. “She has learned that going outside to ‘potty’ gets her a treat,” says Karen. “She barks to go outside and then when she is done, she sits on the stairs in our yard and lets us know she wants back in for her treat. She is very clever.”

The entire family is so glad they got the chance to adopt Ophelia. “She has truly enriched the lives of our entire family,” says Karen. “She has so much personality and energy. One look at her beautiful expressive eyes and your heart melts.”

— Previous story —

Six young puppies surrendered just days before Christmas

Original story: December 29, 2023

Before 2023 could come to a close, yet another litter of puppies has come into the BC SPCA’s care. On December 22, just three days before Christmas, six six-week-old Great Pyrenees border collie cross puppies were surrendered to the Chilliwack animal centre. Unfortunately, this has not been an unusual occurrence this year as the BC SPCA has seen a tremendous increase in the number of pregnant dogs and puppies coming into care in 2023.

“It used to be really rare to have puppies come into the centre, but access to spay and neuter services is often challenging, which can lead to accidental litters, not to mention the rising cost of living,” explains Shelley Joaquin, manager of the BC SPCA’s Chilliwack animal centre. “We’re very grateful the owner of these puppies reached out to surrender them immediately when they realized they could no longer afford their care, and before the puppies’ health was impacted.”

Litters of young puppies require a great effort and can put a big strain on BC SPCA resources, especially on foster volunteers. The BC SPCA maintains a large foster network of caring homes where vulnerable animals can wait for their forever homes. Joaquin shares, “These little ones are so precious; they snuggle right into you when you hold them! But, like most younger animals, they needed to get out of the more overwhelming shelter environment and into foster care right away so they can learn what it’s like to live in a home by being house-trained and socialized. It was challenging to find fosters so close to the holidays, but we were thrilled to find three homes who could each accept a pair of puppies.”

Each of the puppies will be spayed or neutered and will be in the BC SPCA’s care for at least two more weeks before they are available for adoption.