Okay, here you are out in Rural Wonderland, so you’ll need a couple of dogs, a few cats and maybe some chickens and goats! Well... maybe not. Those acres of weed-infested property down the street belong to someone, and that someone probably lives there, in a house behind the trees. Keep this in mind when bringing home anything that barks, yowls, bleats, crows, craps and attracts predators and vermin.
Here in Pender Harbour, we’re lucky to have both a modern, full-service veterinary clinic and a pet foods/supply store. Most communities our size don’t. We encourage you to support both Dr. Rick and Shelley so they can continue to offer important services to our pet owners.
At right, one of the small herd at Laughlin Creek Llamas in Kleindale, a favourite class excursion for elementary school children. Myrwin photo.
Predators & Parasites
- Cats and smaller dogs are prey for coyotes, eagles and the occasional cougar or wolf. Putting your pet outdoors with no way back in to safety is asking for trouble.
- Fights with weasels, raccoons and mink rarely end well for the domestic pet. As well as injury, the pet risks exposure to disease and parasites.
- Garbage, unwashed barbecue grills, grains and poorly maintained compost attract predators and vermin. Clean up your act!
- Ticks are a problem every year. Examine your pet's coat regularly and talk to your vet about effective, preventive treatments for fleas, ticks and worms. While you're at it, have your pet's inoculations brought up to date.
- Antifreeze - It is poison to animals. Dispose of it safely.
- Spay/Neuter - Have your pet spayed or neutered. Just like the rest of the world, Pender Harbour has far too many unwanted animals. Your pet won't become fat and lazy, it won't miss reproducing, and it will have both a longer and healthier life.
- Licensing - We don't have, and do not want, a dog-control bylaw. As long as people are responsible dog-owners, we won't be forced into yet another law and the tax increase that goes along with it.
- Free-Range Dogs - Dogs can legally be shot if they threaten livestock and pets on private property, and if they chase deer, which most will. Uncontrolled dogs are at risk for serious injury and death from encounters with traffic and predators.
- Be Responsible - You know the drill... have your dog in full control at all times, have it spayed or neutered, make sure it doesn't disturb your neighbours and always scoop that poop, even when you think no one is watching.
- Protecting Birds - Domestic cats are hunters by instinct, not personality. You cannot train them not to stalk and pounce on prey, be it a catnip mouse or a living, breathing songbird. Putting a bell on a collar on a cat merely teaches it to move without sounding the bell, and a collar snagged on a branch endangers the cat by choking and attack by other predators. If a dead mouse or bird on your doorstep might distress you, choose another pet or to keep the cat indoors at all times.
- Rodent Control - There are simply too many rodents in our mild-climate, waterfront area for cats to eradicate. Forcing your cat to live outside won't make it a better hunter, nor will withholding food; that strategy results in a parasite-ridden, unhealthy, unhappy cat with a shorter lifespan.
- The Indoor Option - Indoor-only cats are not at risk for fleas, ticks, diseases and injuries from other animals, they are not targets for other predators, they will not leave “surprises” in your garden and neighbour’s, and they are not a danger to small outdoor animals. However, cat litter has its problems and many cats never accept confinement.
- Declawing - Don't. Don't even think about it.
- Environment - A pet that requires a constantly warm environment is at risk in Pender Harbour because of power outages. Although infrequent, occasional outages can last for days, so a generator is the only solution.
- Supplies - The IGA doesn't sell live mice for your boa or live crickets for your lizard. Talk to Shelley at Pender Harbour Pet Foods so she can arrange to have them stocked for you, or consider raising your own.
- Big Birds - If you plan to get a cockatoo or other hysterically vocal, loud bird, by all means keep it indoors with windows closed, where you can properly appreciate its piercing shrieks.
Hobby Farm Animals
- Veterinarian - There is not a large-animal veterinarian in Pender Harbour.
- Food - Oats and hay are not available in Pender Harbour, so large orders are usually arranged to be shared by other animal owners.
- Neighbours - Smaller hobby-farm stock, i.e. chickens and pigs, and their feed attract all kinds of opportunistic creatures like rats, raccoons, coyotes and bears that live in your neighbourhood. As well, your human neighbours may not appreciate the early-morning sounds of a crowing rooster and the ripe odour of rotting manure.
Adopting a Pet
Like everywhere else in the world, there are many unwanted animals in Pender Harbour. Local agencies have a large number of companion animals in need of homes.
- Heads Up
- Be prepared to spend money on food, supplies, inoculations, spaying or neutering and veterinary care for your pet. And please, be prepared to spend daily, quality time with your pet.
- Find a Companion Animal
- SPCA Animal Shelter - Wilson Creek, 604-740-0301.
- Cats, dogs, rabbits and other rodent pets are usually available for adoption, as well as the occasional farm animal. Overflow animals from Lower Mainland shelters are brought to this shelter, and we wonder if that's why they have so many pit bulls available.
- Offsite link >> Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals >> Sunshine Coast.
- Happy Cat Haven - Gibsons, Violet Winegarden, 604-886-2407.
- With volunteers and community financial support, Violet turned her home into a shelter for unwanted and often un-adoptable cats. She usually has a large number of cats available for adoption.
- Offsite link >> Happy Cat Haven.
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