Alberta animal rescue group asks for help finding dogs after crash

WARNING: Some people may find certain details in this story disturbing.

EDMONTON – The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society is asking for the public’s help looking for two dogs missing since Saturday, when a trailer carrying 30 rescue dogs crashed near Olds.

“Many of you may have heard about the tragic accident that happened on Hwy 2 on Saturday morning south of Olds, Alberta where 30 rescue dogs being transported to Edmonton for an adoption event were involved in a roll-over,” AARCS wrote on its Facebook page Sunday night.

“Eight dogs went missing when their kennels broke during the accident. Terrified and scared they ran away. For the past two days, AARCS volunteers, Olds college students and many wonderful Albertans have been assisting the rescue group based out Saskatchewan with trying to locate the missing dogs. Thankfully we have found six, but two are still out there.”

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Jerry and Donavon, two rescue dogs missing after Saturday’s crash near Olds.
Jerry and Donavon, two rescue dogs missing after Saturday’s crash near Olds. Supplied, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society

“We are asking people to share this post to get the word out regarding the missing two dogs Jerry and Donavon. Anyone in the area of Olds, Alberta please watch for these two and to anyone who may be driving in the area please keep your eye out for these two. They were last spotted on the west side of Hwy 2, just south of the Olds overpass. They are very scared and will likely run away if chased. Please call or text Deanna at 403-869-4694 or RJ at 403-837-7442 if spotted or located,” the post read.

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Two women were reportedly driving to Edmonton from Los Angeles — hauling a horse trailer filled with 30 rescue dogs — when they lost control of their SUV. It happened roughly two kilometres south of the Olds overpass on Highway 2 around 7 a.m. Saturday, according to officials.

Three dogs were killed and several others wounded.

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“There were dogs all over the highway. Some were dead, some were not moving, some were unconscious,” said April Oakes.

Oakes, who was contacted by a paramedic at the scene, is the founder of Edmonton-based Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue Society — one of several organizations now helping raise money for the veterinary bills of the injured animals.

“Some had broken bones with the bones sticking out…and there [were] broken kennels laying on the highway, and dogs running around on the highway.

“I know that a bunch of bystanders stopped and tried to catch and help out these animals.”

A crew from Calgary’s Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society was among those who rushed to the scene to help; they were joined by a veterinarian from Olds College, which has since taken in about 20 animals.

Local volunteers, meanwhile, helped track down some of the missing dogs.

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“I know that one Chihuahua was found a mile away from where the accident was. So it had travelled quite far in that short period of time,” Oakes said.

The two women who were transporting the animals both suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, but have since been released from hospital. Their names and ages are not known; however, they are reportedly with Adopt A Paw Haven, which is based out of Saskatoon.

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RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

“The preliminary investigation suggests driver error, where fatigue may have been a factor,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Dunsmore.

He adds that speed, alcohol, weather and road conditions are not considered factors in the crash.

Olds is located about 60 kilometres south of Red Deer.

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