|"Auntie Jane" Jorgensen with an armful of adorable puppies.|
The Mushkadoodles flown in from Labrador. The Preston puppies rescued by an RCMP officer. The Garbage Bag Puppies saved in Cape Breton. Five beagle pups and their parents taken from a home.
What do all these dogs have in common besides neglect and/or abuse?
They’ve all landed in the loving care of “Auntie Jane”.
“I almost always have rescue dogs here,” says Jane Jorgensen at her Wallace Bay farm where she runs a boarding kennel and grooming salon.
Since January alone, Jane has fostered more than 30 dogs and puppies. The beagle puppies currently running around the fenced enclosure came from a home where their mother was kept in a shed and their father was tied up.
“She looks like she’s been nursing her whole life,” Jane says of the beagle mom being bred multiple times so her puppies could be sold. “And they thought the male was aggressive. I was going to turn him down but they already had him on the truck.”
For Jane’s safety, he arrived wearing a collar with a leash attached and when she took him into the fenced enclosure to see what he would do, Duke showed no signs of aggression.
“The whole family is adorable,” says Jane.
She’s already fostering a German Shepherd whose owner died. The wife and son couldn’t deal with the dog so he was shut in a crate for two weeks, not even let out to be fed or to relieve himself.
Another dog Jane recently helped came in so emaciated, she couldn’t nurse her puppies; her owner had gone to jail and his sister didn’t want to spend money on dog food.
When asked how she reacts to the horror stories, Jane replies, “We’re asked to forgive but sometimes it’s really hard.”
According to Shelley Cunningham, the founder and president of the dog rescue organization Litters’N’Critters, Jane has taken in over 200 dogs since she began fostering with the rescue four years ago.
“I’ll call her and say, ‘Mudder, we have a problem. We’ve got this dog that has lost a paw or has been lit on fire, and she says, ‘Bring him ‘up’,” Cunningham said in a phone interview. “Jane has never said no.”
Since it doesn’t have a shelter, Litters’N’Critters relies on foster homes to take the dogs that come in. The fact that Jane has a kennel means she can accommodate more dogs.
“Her kennel is a godsend,” Cunningham said. “And we’ve had dogs come in that have never been groomed and Jane has taken those dogs with their mats and tangles, with toenails grown right into their paws, and she’s clipped and trimmed and turned them back into dogs.”
Cunningham said not all dogs come to Litters’N’Critters because of neglect or abuse; people surrender their dog because of a diagnosis of a terminal illness, a death in the family, because they are moving or have just had a baby.
Jane has little sympathy for people who treat their pets badly.
“I really feel strongly that we have a responsibility to the animals that we look after,” she states. “Some of the things I’ve seen that people do to the dogs, they should be shot. Some of it is that people don’t understand. Some of it is impulse buy; they want the cute little puppy. Everyone will want one of those cute Beagle puppies but not everybody has the ability to take care of that kind of dog.”
The Beagle parents, Duke and Sasha, need new homes as well.
While struggling with the death of her husband, Gordon, last September, Jane has continued to accept rescues even though she says it is hard work and a lot of responsibility, on top of caring for her own dogs and cats, as well the chickens, sheep, llamas, alpacas and horses that populate her farm.
But when that call for help comes, Jane won’t say no.“Words can’t describe how much we appreciate Jane,” Cunningham said. “She has her wings and her halo and I’m sure she has a cape around somewhere.”
|Beagle mama, Sasha, who along with dad Duke, need loving family homes.|