Waiting to find a forever home at a recent adoption event in Lacombe. (Christi Albers-Manickie/Lacombe Express)

Alix-based Saving Grace Animal Society has record year for animal adoptions

A local animal rescue has had a busy year.

Alix, Alta. based Saving Grace Animal Society adopted out nearly double the animals in 2021 as they did the year prior.

“Compared to 2020, we went up significantly,” said Amanda McClughan, one of the society’s directors.

According to McClughan, 2020 had the rescue find forever homes for around 1,000 animals in their care while 2021 saw that number jump to around 1,850.

Unfortunately, despite the animals being adopted increasing, the rescue finds that the demand for its services are still exceeding its capabilities to assist.

At the end of November and beginning of December a decrease in adoptions coupled with an increase in intake requests made the rescue go on an intake freeze until they could make some more room.

“We had every space filled, and nowhere to place incoming animals,” said McClughan.

During the freeze, the only animals the rescue would take were animals that needed medical care.

At its usual maximum capacity the rescue has room for 22 mature dogs, 15 puppies, 15 in the cat program plus foster homes.

Puppies usually stay with fosters unless they are in the shelter for adoption and when intakes were high they had 40 of them in the facility.

In the cat program the rescue created an overflow area allowing them to hold an additional 15 cats.

Fortunately, with a media and social media push the rescue was able to see an increase in animal adoptions and remove the intake freeze within a couple of weeks.

Since that time adoptions and intakes have balanced out but the facility is “pretty full again” according to McClughan, underscoring the need to expand.

“We need more space to keep up at this pace constantly,” said McClughan.

Plans for the facility in Alix include building another level in some unused space within the building allowing for more room for dogs, and generally making more efficient use of the space they have.

Also in the works is the construction of a neighbouring veterinary clinic on some land next to the rescue which would allow them to cut expenses on travel taking animals to and from appointments, as well as help them reduce some animal veterinary expenses.

Saving Grave Animal Society is funded primarily through donations from the public, adoption fees, and other community fundraisers such as auctions.

The volunteers also spend some time doing offsite events as well, such as an adoption session recently held at Wag’s Holistic Pet Nutrition in Lacombe on Jan. 5, 2022.

One-time or monthly financial donations can be made via Saving Grace’s website at www.SavingGraceCanada.com.

An up to date list of animals available for adoption can be found on Saving Grace’s Facebook page.