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Animals From Afar Canadians offer forever homes

Whether through nonprofit organizations or individually, many Canadians are adopting all sorts of different animals—dogs, cats, exotic birds, and even horses—from afar, places around the globe where stray, sick, and abandoned creatures abound.

When Susan Patterson was looking for a new dog after two other furry pets had died of old age, she never imagined that an emaciated, three-legged chihuahua-terrier mix named Homer would so drastically change her life.

Compassion turns to action

The Vancouver resident hadn’t been able to find a small dog at any local shelters, so she began surfing the internet. She discovered a rescue organization based in Oregon that had taken in Homer from a high-kill shelter, where there’s a time limit for adoptable animals before they’re euthanized. Because of his disability, he would almost certainly be put down. Patterson drove for nearly six hours to get Homer and bring him home.

“When I got him, he was only 5 pounds and had one leg that was rotated,” Patterson says. “He had reportedly been repeatedly thrown out of a speeding vehicle. He was starving and disabled, but he was the happiest little thing. He was so happy he was wiggling.”

Now 10 years old, Homer is much heavier than when Patterson first set eyes on him. What she learned during the experience of finding him was eye-opening: every year, about 1.5 million shelter animals in the US are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). Patterson went on to found Thank DOG I Am Out Dog Rescue Society, with a mission to save dogs that are at risk of being euthanized, abused, surrendered, or abandoned.

Rescue organizations answer the call

Whether through nonprofit organizations or individually, many Canadians are adopting all sorts of different animals from afar, places around the globe where stray, sick, and abandoned creatures abound.

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