Meisha the boxer dog

Meisha the boxer dog

Missing Cariboo ranch dogs found at Chilliwack SPCA

Cori Lamarche's two boxer dogs disappeared from the 137 Mile Ranch area during a thunderstorm and ended up at the Chilliwack SPCA

Cariboo resident Cori Lamarche said her two boxer dogs disappeared from the 137 Mile Ranch area during a thunderstorm on Aug. 1 and ended up at the Chilliwack SPCA the next day.

She brought her dogs home last week, and notes that she still has unanswered questions.

“This just doesn’t feel right to me,” she said.

She explained that the dogs were spotted on the night of the storm by a neighbour, headed north.

“We went on the Williams Lake SPCA website, as well as Missing BC Pets. We got a message from BC Pets the next morning saying that there were two boxers at the Chilliwack SPCA matching our inquiry. ‘That’s impossible,’ I thought. ‘They couldn’t have made it to Chilliwack.”

“I phoned the SPCA in Chilliwack and asked about the dogs; I was directed to their website and saw my dogs’ photos. I phoned the shelter manager and said ‘Those are my dogs,’ and she told me to come and get them, and told me the fee I would need to pay when I picked them up.”

Chilliwack shelter manager Ivanna Ferris said on Aug. 2 they received a phone call from a woman travelling from Prince George to Vancouver, phoning from near Hope, saying that she found two female boxers without collars or tags on the side of the road. She told the shelter she couldn’t leave the dogs on the road and couldn’t find a shelter nearby.

“We said we’d take the dogs, and stayed open until she arrived. The woman gave us a Prince George address and left the animals with us,” Ferris explained. “Three days later we got the phone call from Cori Lamarche saying we had her dogs – a mother and daughter.”

Ferris said she also wondered how the dogs had gotten from Williams Lake to Hope.

“We repeatedly tried to get more information from the woman who found them, but our phone calls were not answered,” she said. “The younger female boxer was in heat and we could tell that the two dogs had been actively bred, but were in good health and good condition.”

It took more than two weeks for Lamarche to pick up her dogs in Chilliwack — something that was a source of frustration for her and for SPCA shelter staff.

“We were in the middle of moving and my husband had just broken his arm, and we are five hours away,” Lamarche said.  “The manager in Chilliwack started getting upset with me because I couldn’t immediately show up for the dogs and she refused to tell me who dropped them off or how they got there.”

Ferris said they informed Lamarche about the woman from Prince George, including where the woman said she had found the dogs, adding that the organization’s privacy policy prevents them from divulging the names of people who surrender animals to the shelter.

“We do not share information in our files, such as people who surrender animals, adopters, cruelty complaints, and so on, to ensure that people’s personal information is kept private,” stated BCSPCA general manager of community relations Lorie Chortyk.

“Many of the animals we take in are related to cases of abuse and violence to animals and so we also don’t want to put anyone at risk by indicating the new location of an animal who has been seized from a dangerous situation/person.”

Lamarche said she was also unhappy about the fees she had to pay to get her dogs.

“I was distraught. I’ve had those dogs since they were born. I ended up sending an e-mail to BCSPCA and was told, ‘Too bad. You have to pay to get your dogs back.’”

As per usual practice when an animal arrives at the shelter, Ferris said they vaccinated the dogs — a cost of $100.

“When I first spoke to the owner we were at $160 for three or four days of boarding. She said she’d try to get a ride for the dogs, but no one showed up,” Ferris explained. “The days added up, and when she finally came to get the dogs, two weeks later, we waived some of the fees and she only paid $250 — the vaccines and $150 for boarding fees.”

She also said that they waived their policy to consider an animal adoptable and abandoned four days after contact with the owner.  “The dogs were very happy to see her when she came to get them,” she said.

“Our goal is to ensure that the 29,000 animals who are brought into our care each year are provided with the veterinary treatment, rehabilitation and attention they deserve and that we can find them a loving home where they will be treated with care, affection and respect,” Chortyk continued.

“Thankfully, we have many, many success stories at our shelters. We see ‘happy endings’ every day in our shelters and we are so grateful to our amazing staff and volunteers and to our supporters who make our work possible. As a charity we rely entirely on community support to carry out our services, so it is definitely a team effort.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maggie Ferguson continues to deliver pet food to communities in B.C’s Central Interior and North. She hopes to make things easier by eventually purchasing a truck and trailer through fundraising efforts. (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo)
From Delta with love, Maggie Ferguson helps northern pet owners with food

Animal sanctuary owner leads efforts in delivering thousands of pounds of pet food

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read