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A central Alberta animal rescue believes abuse cases are becoming more common, as it continues fundraising to open its own veterinary clinic.
The Saving Grace Animal Society, in Alix, Alta., is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing ‘unplaceable’ animals that require extra care and attention. The rescue said an example this week is all more the reason it is hoping to increase the level of help it can provide.
The society was called to save Parker, a dog it says was found by RCMP in Saskatchewan earlier this week with extensive injuries believed to have been from a machete attack.
Members of the rescue drove 14 hours round-trip to bring Parker to emergency care in Red Deer, after they say they were contacted by Mounties who found the dog in a rural area north of Prince Albert, Sask.
Parker was one of 14 animals taken in that day — many of which had medical issues, the rescue said.
“I see so much in our line of work with neglect and abuse,” said Erin Deems, the executive director of Saving Grace. “It was on another level for sure. My main focus was really just getting him the help that he deserved and getting him out of pain as soon as possible.”
The society has been fundraising to open its own on-site veterinary clinic to avoid the 40-minute drive to Red Deer for severe cases like Parker, especially as they say it appears animal abuse-related injuries are increasing.
“We’re starting to see it so often now in our everyday rescue lives,” said Amanda Mcclughan, the development director for Saving Grace.
“It’s not as shocking for us as you would expect it to be. Which is actually really, really sad.”
The group said while Parker will recover, he required more than 100 stitches and remains in hospital. The society shared some images of Parker’s injuries on Facebook in hopes of drawing attention to the cases it deals with on an everyday basis.
“Our cases are becoming more extreme — we just expect it,” Deems said.
Deems said a frontline rescue in Saskatchewan initially responded, but Saving Grace was asked to take over because it is known for helping more challenging cases.
“People know that we’re willing to take on those major medical cases. I think we’re seeing a little bit more of them as we get bigger and bigger, because people know we’re likely going to say yes and do everything we can to help that animal.”
A Saskatchewan RCMP spokesperson said they have not laid charges. According to police, the knife attack happened after two neighbouring dogs got in a fight.
Saving Grace Animal Society has the capacity to care for around 100 animals. It says its veterinary costs per month are between $50,000 and $60,000.
–With files from Karen Bartko and Jackie Wilson, Global News