Thursday Spotlight – Lisa Schaldemose

Everyone Meet Lisa! She is the Vice President of the FMSPCA Board of Directors, she is a GREAT animal advocate and does anything she can to support them, whether they live in Fort McMurray or anywhere in the world!! I’m really excited for her to share her stories!!

*Name: Lisa Schaldemose

*Origin: born and raised in Winnipeg Manitoba

*Years In Fort McMurray: 13

*Animal(s) (age, breed, name): 4 year old siberian husky Spirit, 4 year old westie Abbee, and 3 year old rescued sled dog Snow – Kim this is background of my pack, but I would like to focus on Snow as he has such an interesting story

*Interesting Facts about your animal(s):  Snow was one of 25 sled dogs that were given to Operation Sled Dogs by a musher in need of a helping hand from Quebec.  Operation Sled Dogs was formed by a small group of like-minded people from across Canada (7 in total), of which I was asked to be a founding member, who were passionate about saving lives of sled dogs.  The group was formed in early 2012 – 2 years after the Whistler Sled Dog cull and approximately 1 year after the news of the Whistler Sled Dog cull became public.  The first mission of OSD was entitled ‘Huskies Heading Home’ and with 24 other sled dogs, Snow made his way across Canada to eventually be fostered with 2 other dogs here in Fort McMurray.

When Snow jumped off of the truck in April of 2012 and landed on FMM soil, I knew immediately that I was not going to try and find him a forever home – I was going to give him his forever home.  He was scarred, scared and in need of a good meal and a lot of confidence building and love.

There is a common misconception that many sled dogs are ‘not adoptable’ and cannot adjust to living as a house dog.  As a result, when sled dogs are in need of re-homing, they are often overlooked – in the case of the Whistler Sled Dogs – they were brutally shot, stabbed and thrown into a mass grave.  Snow, given his condition would have been deemed ‘unadoptable’ – shy, lacking trust, fearful.  Snow came into my home, into my pack, into my life and I cannot imagine the world without him – he is my heart dog.

On his first day home he learned to use stairs, jump on the bed and run around the yard with my pack.  It has been a year that I have had Snow and I still working regularly on building his confidence, teaching him to trust and most of all letting him enjoy all the wonderful experiences of being a dog.  It’s been a journey, but one I wouldn’t trade for anything – to see him play with a toy for the first time, or lick me right on the lips, or lie on his back with his legs stretched out like he doesn’t have a care in the world makes my heart swell and is testimony that in rescue there is truly salvation for the soul.

*Animal(s) Favorite Treat: steak – what else!

*Animal(s) Favorite Trick:  ‘catch my tail’ – as Snow was very much lacking in any confidence when I adopted him, I did not see his tail weeks (it was always tucked between his legs) – now he loves when I catch his tail when he walks by –this is a huge accomplishment for him and I am very proud of this milestone we have reached

*Perspective on Adopting a Rescue:  Many people think that millions of animals are euthanized in shelters every year because there are too many homeless animals and not enough homes.  Data shows that this is far from being true.

It is estimated that of all new pets adopted or purchased each year, almost two-thirds come from breeders or pet stores, with the remaining third being from shelters/rescues.  If we could only change the mindset of people that shelter/rescue animals are just as deserving, smart, loving as those obtained from breeders and pet shops NO ANIMAL WOULD BE EUTHANIZED FOR SPACE.

I think that it is best articulated in the following ‘author unknown’ quote: Rescue animals aren’t broken, they’ve simply experienced more life than other animals.  If they were human, we would call them wise.  They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write, the ones dealt a bad hand who responded with courage.  Don’t pity them.  Do something.  Help to rescue. Donate.  Volunteer.  Foster.  Adopt.  And be proud to have their greatness by your side.

*Favorite Quote  ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’  ~ Gandhi

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Snow 1
Snow profile

OK I had to raid her facebook and find a photo of her animals amazing dog house.. is this not the coolest thing you have ever seen!!!! Complete with upper porch, dog bone swimming pool, welcome mat and food dishes!! Rolo wishes he had a big yard to he could have one!!
dog house