Big Lakes opens animal care facility

Mike Sekulich kneels with his mixed breed dog Foxy wearing a special Big Lakes County bandana.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County officially opened it new animal care facility Feb. 7.

The county built the facility at its main base in High Prairie with $300,000 from the provincial government Municipal Sustainability Initiative program.

“Big Lakes County is pleased to be able to provide a safe and clean facility for our staff and animals,” Reeve Richard Simard says.

“We also appreciate the importance of animal care and the adoption service In The Woods Animal Rescue provides to our community.

“We are grateful for the strong partnership we have with them and look forward to its continuation in the future.”

Besides the county, the compound is available for the Town of High Prairie and High Prairie RCMP.

“The facility is efficiently designed to allow for proper cleaning and disinfecting,” says Mary Brust, Big Lakes County animal control officer.

“The floors are sloped for adequate drainage and it’s equipped with washing stations for hands, dog dishes and dogs.

“Proper ventilation, heating and cooling systems have also been installed, which allows for a comfortable environment for our animals,” Brust says.

Cleanliness, health and safety, and comfort and stress reduction, were all factors considered in the design of the new facility to provide a higher level of care to dogs housed in the pound.

The kennels are double-sided with guillotine-style doors to minimize cross-contamination and provide staff with a safe way to clean the kennels should a dog be potentially dangerous.

Panels are made of materials that absorb sound to reduce stress in dogs caused by barking.

The colours are soft and light, which have been proven to reduce fear and stress in shelter animals.

A quarantine area is available to prevent the spread of disease and maintain low-stress levels while providing a sterile environment for the treatment of illness or injury.

Adopt a Furry Friend Day with In The Woods Animal Rescue was held in conjunction to help animals find new homes.

“We had such a fantastic turnout and it was nice to see so many puppies and dogs find homes,” Simard says.

Donations for the rescue can be made at the county office Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed for lunch from 12-12:30 p.m.

The rescue is always looking for canned dog and cat food, dry dog, puppy, cat, and kitten food, blankets, towels, pet beds, metal food dishes, clumping cat litter, hay, straw, beet pulp, sweet feed, cleaning supplies, garbage bags [Costco industrial], paper towel, hand sanitizer, laundry soap, kennels, leashes, and lunge lines.

Monetary donations can be e-transferred to

Please request a tax receipt for any contribution made over $25 and include your name and address.

Jessica Mackenzie attracts several pups in a kennel at the grand opening of Big Lakes County animal care facility.

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