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Misty Creek Dog Rescue (Calgary)


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37
1.5
Founded in 1998 as a no-kill shelter, Misty Creek Dog Rescue is one of many volunteer-run shelters in Western Canada shouldering the burden of the thousands of animals who are abandoned, abused or surrendered every year. Misty Creek Dog Rescue takes in dogs from pounds, reserves, other shelters and voluntary owner surrenders providing them with medical care, vaccinations, and behavioural training with the aim of finding them forever homes. Because of the strict no-kill mandate, dogs may stay at the shelter for years until they are successfully placed with a suitable family. Working closely with foster home volunteers, we have saved over 3000 dogs.


Mailing Address:
Suite # 472
300, 8120 Beddington Blvd. N.W.
Calgary, Alberta T3K 2A8
Feral Cat TNR Program
1
High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
1
Rescue Groups
2
Foster Care
2.8
Comprehensive Adoption Programs
1.8
Pet Retention
1
Medical and Behavior Programs
1
Public Relations/Community Involvement
1
Volunteers
2
Proactive Redemptions
1
A Compassionate Director
1
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1. Feral Cat TNR Program

Many communities are embracing Trap, Neuter, Release programs (TNR) to improve animal welfare, reduce death rates, and meet obligations to public welfare.


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2. High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter

Low cost, high volume spay/neuter will quickly lead to fewer animals entering the shelter system, allowing more resources to be allocated toward saving lives.


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3. Rescue Groups

An adoption or transfer to a rescue group frees up scarce cage and kennel space, reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning, killing, and improves a community's rate of lifesaving. In an environment of millions of dogs and cats killed in shelters annually, rare is the circumstance in which a rescue group should be denied an animal.


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4. Foster Care

Volunteer foster care is crucial to No Kill. Without it, saving lives is compromised. It is a low cost, and often no cost, way of increasing a shelter's capacity, improving public relations, increasing a shelter's public image, rehabilitating sick and injured or behaviorally challenged animals, and saving lives.


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5. Comprehensive Adoption Programs

Adoptions are vital to an agency's lifesaving mission. The quantity and quality of shelter adoptions is in shelter management's hands, making lifesaving a direct function of shelter policies and practice. In fact, studies show people get their animals from shelters only 20% of the time. If shelters better promoted their animals and had adoption programs responsive to the needs of the community, including public access hours for working people, offsite adoptions, adoption incentives, and effective marketing, they could increase the number of homes available and replace killing with adoptions. Contrary to conventional wisdom, shelters can adopt their way out of killing.


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6. Pet Retention

While some of the reasons animals are surrendered to shelters are unavoidable, others can be prevented-but only if shelters are willing to work with people to help them solve their problems. Saving animals requires communities to develop innovative strategies for keeping people and their companion animals together. And the more a community sees its shelters as a place to turn for advice and assistance, the easier this job will be.


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7. Medical and Behavior Programs

In order to meet its commitment to a lifesaving guarantee for all savable animals, shelters need to keep animals happy and healthy and keep animals moving through the system. To do this, shelters must put in place comprehensive vaccination, handling, cleaning, socialization, and care policies before animals get sick and rehabilitative efforts for those who come in sick, injured, unweaned, or traumatized.


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8. Public Relations/Community Involvement

Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers and partnering with community agencies comes down to one thing: increasing the shelter's exposure. And that means consistent marketing and public relations. Public relations and marketing are the foundation of all a shelter's activities and their success. To do all these things well, the shelter must be in the public eye.


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9. Volunteers

Volunteers are a dedicated "army of compassion" and the backbone of a successful No Kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources. That is where volunteers come in and make the difference between success and failure and, for the animals, life and death.


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10. Proactive Redemptions

One of the most overlooked areas for reducing killing in animal control shelters are lost animal reclaims. Sadly, besides having pet owners fill out a lost pet report, very little effort is made in this area of shelter operations. This is unfortunate because doing so-primarily shifting from passive to a more proactive approach-has proven to have a significant impact on lifesaving and allow shelters to return a large percentage of lost animals to their families.


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11. A Compassionate Director

The final element of the No Kill equation is the most important of all, without which all other elements are thwarted-a hard working, compassionate animal control or shelter director not content to regurgitate tired cliches or hide behind the myth of "too many animals, not enough homes." Unfortunately, this one is also oftentimes the hardest one to demand and find.


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This review is aimed at the performance of the administrative staff of “Misty Creek”, specifically Shauna Depta in Carmangay, and NOT at the volunteer foster families. If you are looking to adopt or to volunteer as a foster family, I strongly recommend that you look elsewhere to some of the many other, highly rated adoption agencies in the central Alberta region (Greater Calgary Area). The foster family who cared for the rescue dog we adopted was amongst the nicest, most genuine, caring people we have ever met. They were truly genuine and selfless. The volunteer “administrative” staff of “Misty Creek” were altogether a different experience. Any criticism that is leveled at this organization’s staff is always met with “we’re just volunteers doing the best we can” response. That said, “the best we can” is their weak excuse that yields a significant disservice to the potential adopters, to the benevolent foster families and to the animal. In hindsight I wish we would’ve found and read reviews of this agency before proceeding. We would’ve stopped and searched elsewhere. Here is our experience, chronologically, and offered with hindsight and valuable “lessons learned”. Communication with the Misty Creek staff initially was very good. That said, there is little to no “screening” of the adopting family. Misty Creek is fast in wanting to get it’s $500 adoption fee from you. After they collect that fee the efficiency of their service evaporates quickly. Coordination between the agency and the foster family was poor. We had an “agreed upon” time to “meet and greet” the potential dog we were interested in and while a Misty Creek volunteer administrator showed up at the foster family location on time with us, the foster family had NO idea anybody was coming and that a potential adoption was in progress. This was both a shock and a great inconvenience for them. The same happened again once we had agreed to adopt and pick up the dog from the foster family; no communication was sent to the fosters. They were “surprised” twice. They were also close to adopting their foster dog, so this unexpectedly upset their plans. A critical issue that you should bear in mind as you read the biography of each adoption candidate animal, is that the narratives are Misty Creek’s “best guess”. Amateur at best. The descriptions tend to be optimistic and positive but, more importantly, have NOT been written as a formal assessment by a professional animal behaviorist. Furthermore, the listed breed is also a “best guess”. We looked at a dog who was listed as “retriever mix, good with children, cats and other dogs”. This was essentially the type of dog we would like to rescue based on our previous experience with retrievers. DNA results, along with the dog’s behaviour, revealed the fact that there was zero retriever in him and his actual two mixed breeds (predominantly Terrier) made him naturally prone to a heightened prey drive (birds, squirrels, rabbits, other small cats and dogs etc). In addition, he was reactive and aggressive to other dogs on our initial walks. These newly learned facts (that can only be garnered during the time spent with him in the first few days after adoption) meant that we couldn’t walk our dog off-leash with our family and their dogs due to his prey drive (flight risk) and the reactive dog aggression (no socialization). He was, essentially NOTHING like the biography written by Misty Creek. We’ve had to engage the services of a professional behaviourist to address these issues. In order to participate in social activities such as interactive classes and daycare, many canine services ask for vaccination records prior to enrollment. This is entirely understandable. It took the Misty Creek administrative staff 5 weeks to send us a simple, single sheet showing vaccination records. 35 days for a simple act (email a pdf) that we so desperately needed to get the dog enrolled in urgently needed socialization activities, classes and private fenced off leash areas where we could begin to address his prey drive and aggression. The excuse used by the Misty Creek staff was “we’re just volunteers trying our best”. Well, their “best” put the very welfare of our adopted dog in jeopardy as we struggled to address the newly discovered undesirable behaviours. In summary: We do NOT recommend Misty Creek due to the actions of the “administrative staff”. They are quick to take your money and adopt out the animal. They are irresponsibly slow when it comes to coordination and follow up services. The breed determination of adoption animals is their “best guess”. The behavior and biographical descriptions of the adoption animals are their amateur “best guess” and are not formal determinations by a professional behaviourist. We urge you to look elsewhere at other better rated adoption agencies.
posted by Jer Reynolds, on 2020-06-06 02:43:10
reply
I didn't deal with the owner but one of the volunteers. Lorelei was great, the dog I was initially interested in was healthy and living a good life in their foster but needed a lot of work still that I didn't feel I could properly provide in comparison with the foster. I ended up fostering another dog of the same breed for around a month that had just come in from the states. This may have been a little too fast in hindsight, and to be fair I should have brought my roommate with me as he's never had anything above the smaller size of medium in his life. The dog I fostered has gone to another foster also with experience for large dogs, and able to work on things I can't in the current COVID pandemic and I know he'll be taken care of. The pup needs more work but has made leaps and bounds from when he first arrived. Throughout the timeframe I fostered Lorelei was amazing, she checked in regularly, offered advice, even set up a short playdate for the foster and her own dog to assist in the assessment of his progress and when the issue of the roommate being uncomfortable with a full-grown larger dog became apparent she help set up a new foster. I don't know about the owner other then reviews and grapevine but if the volunteers are as amazing as Lorelei is then the best interest of the dog is always a priority.
posted by Iain Ferguson, on 2020-04-24 17:46:03
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Rescue groups are supposed to help animals heal and find a loving forever home. I believe most groups do exactly that. It is extremely upsetting to learn that this group (Misty Creek Dog Rescue) is operating for the profit of one person and is exploiting the time and money of people who love animals. Volunteers and people adopting animals need to research who they are dealing with. Misty Creek is not a registered non profit organization. The business is owned by Shauna Depta. There is nothing charitable about this group. All the donated funds and products, as well as the many volunteer hours, are supporting Shauna's lifestyle. It is sad that someone would use people and animals in this way for personal profit. Knowing that the volunteers and dogs are the keys to their profit, one would expect Misty Creek would treat their volunteers very well. That is not the case for Katelyn and Whiskey. I am guessing this is not the first dog who has been taken from a loving volunteer for the purpose of a higher profit. To destroy a bound formed between a dog and a volunteer after a year, isn't humane. It is definitely not rescuing the dog. Two hearts were broken for the sake of money. The additional insult of not allowing a time to say goodbye is simply cruel. Not returning personal items purchased by Katelyn is a crime. I truly hope that Whiskey's new owner will reach out to Katelyn and give her the piece of mind to know that Whiskey is safe and loved. Please see facebook page "Help Find Whiskey" for more information
posted by GailMontieth, on 2019-02-28 00:58:12