World

BC dog walker sets out 55 puppies to raise funds

Getting a dog to pose for a photo can be a struggle in the best of times.

Getting those 55 jobs is something a dog walker team from Nanaimo, BC, was able to achieve recently, however, all in an effort to raise money for a good cause – emergency pet boarding of people fleeing domestic violence.

“I was definitely a bit nervous,” said Brii Goritsas from the Pooch Pack Adventures team.

“I thought in my head, ‘Who’s all going to be here? Who’s going to stay?'”

Pooch Pack Adventures arranged 55 dogs on a large log in the woods near Nanaimo, posing them together for a carefully crafted photo.

Even for the most seasoned dog walkers, the task of getting dozens of dogs to sit still – nothing more or less – in a fallen tree – remains a challenge.

“We broke a sweat,” says Pooch Pack Adventures owner and operator Kim Sirett, laughing.

The dogs are used to daily hiking and small group photos of about 10 people.

This latest fundraising effort also follows a similar effort the group did seven years ago involving 40 puppies.

“But to make 55, some of these guys haven’t seen each other in a while, so they’re pretty happy,” Sirett said. “A little bit of excitement, but we got it.”

After several commands and tricks, the team managed to get the dogs to sit long enough to take that particular photo, which has since raised thousands of dollars to help provide emergency boarding services for the dogs. Pet owners are fleeing domestic violence.

“It’s been a huge struggle for families experiencing domestic violence and pet ownership is just another huge setback,” Sirett said.

She says that some people may stay in an abusive relationship longer if they are concerned about their pet’s safety or cannot get their companions going.

“There is so much domestic violence that many of us are not aware of,” says Sirett.

Goritsas said it was “wonderful” to know why she and the rest of the group supported their photo.

“I’m really happy to know that we’re doing it for a really good cause,” she said. “We don’t just come here, we do it for good.”

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