Fred and Ethel seek new home together
Fred and Ethel need a new home after they were abandoned outside the Burnaby SPCA animal shelter early one morning last week.
It was about 6 a.m. when an employee at a neighbouring business in the industrial area saw a vehicle pull away, leaving the two dogs tied to a fence outside the shelter.
The Good Samaritan took the dogs inside to stay warm and brought them to the shelter once it opened, said the BC SPCA's Burnaby branch manager, Ryan Voutilainen.
SPCA staff named the pair Fred and Ethel after Lucy and Ricky's best friends on the 1950s sitcom classic, I Love Lucy.
"They're outgoing and giving us lots of smiles and laughs. Everyone's fallen in love with them."
Fred is a black shih tzu and Ethel is a white maltese mix. They're about eight years old. Neither were spayed or neutered and it's believed they were likely used for breeding, Voutilainen said.
Both also have medical issues that need to be treated at a total cost of about $2,000, and the Burnaby SPCA is hoping the public will contribute towards it.
While Burnaby city hall contracts the BC SPCA to provide animal control services, the non-profit organization depends on donations to cover the medical costs of the animals it takes in, he explained. Provincewide, that typically costs $2.5 million a year.
Ethel has the worst of it and is currently on pain medications and antibiotics, he said. She was found to have a large tumour in her mouth, teeth in poor condition, irritated skin, hair loss and ears full of discharge. Fred, meanwhile, needs dental surgery to clean and extract rotting teeth.
Otherwise, behaviourally and emotionally, the two dogs seem really happy. "They're very outgoing, they love to play, they love being with people."
The pair have also been inseparable, which is why they hope to find a new home where they can live together.
"The first night they were already curled up together sleeping on the same bed … We figured out right away they'd probably been together for quite some time. We don't want to separate them now."
Voutilainen said people abandoning their pets at SPCA shelters happens "on occasion" throughout the province. But the preference is that the animals be surrendered when they can no longer be cared for.
That way, the previous owner can provide information on health or other issues to help the SPCA in addressing them and finding the pets a new home, he said.
To surrender an animal, there is a fee in the Lower Mainland of $75 for a cat and $100 for a dog, but it makes accommodations for people who can't afford it.
To contribute towards medical care for Fred, Ethel and the other animals at its shelter, go online to http://bit.ly/1j12rOY or in person at 3202 Norland Ave., Burnaby.