Luna is one of the dogs rescued by Helping Paws Okanagan. She has since been adopted. (Helping Paws Okanagan)

Eleven dogs rescued; transported from Texas to the Okanagan despite pandemic

Helping Paws Okanagan rescued 11 dogs from Texas on March 28

Eleven dogs from Houston, Texas who needed homes are now safe and sound with their new Okanagan families thanks to a Penticton-based rescue organization.

Lesley Chapman, the founder of Helping Paws Okanagan, worked with a shelter in Houston, Texas — where she said there is a large number of abandoned dogs.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S.-Canada closed to stem the spread of the virus, which worried Chapman as she didn’t know if she would still be able to pick up 11 dogs scheduled to be transported from Texas to Washington on March 28.

She said she was so worried the guards wouldn’t let her through that she drove down to the States a week earlier than planned.

“But they told me at the border I’m doing commercial work, so I was let through. I stayed in Wenatchee until the dogs arrived,” she said.

Chapman said she was prepared and had measures to promote physical distancing with her colleague from Texas, as well as the other adopters who came down to Washington to pick up the dogs from her.

“I cleaned everything everybody touched, and I bought a whole bunch of new collars and disinfected them. When the transporter came, we took each dog and gave each one a wash.”

Fortunately, Chapman said all the dogs were able to meet their new families and go home.

“In the beginning, it was a lot of preparing and panicking and trying to find people in Washington who would be able to foster because, at that point, I didn’t know if the adopters would even be able to get through the border,”

“But it all did come together, with people in Washington state helping and adopters being able to pick up their dogs because dog rescue is part of essential work.”

She added that she’s seeing more and more requests for adoptions as people look for companions while they isolate at home.

Now, Chapman is in quarantine for the next 14 days, but she did say there are more dogs that need to be adopted. She may be at home, but the work continues as she coordinates adoptions for some of the dogs and working to schedule when she can next go down to Texas.

READ MORE: Helping Paws Okanagan worries about being able to bring dogs home as borders close

READ MORE: BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sicamous RCMP catch driver going twice the speed limit

The car was impounded for seven days and the driver received a hefty fine

Transport truck driver walks away from crash where cab detaches from trailer

Driver won’t be charged regarding incident near Pritchard

About one-sixth of students in School District 83 choose to ‘restart’ June 1

Superintendent of schools expects numbers may increase as word of safety protocols spreads

WATCH: North Okanagan golf cart stolen, then returned

Homeowners have footage of two men taking the cart and then bringing it back

UBC announces downtown Kelowna campus

Construction not anticipated to begin for two years, due to zoning processes

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Flair Airlines adds Kelowna to new summer schedule

Flair will be delaying the launch of service into Ottawa and Atlantic Canada

Titanic fails to successfully cross Atlantic a second time

I can hold her in my two hands. She is tiny and… Continue reading

‘It’s in the looks people give’: Kelowna women use shared experiences to combat racism

Friday’s peaceful protest is in solidarity with the Black community in the U.S.

Osoyoos man arrested, charged with possession of child pornography

Shawn Barry Titus, 37, was arrested at a motel in Osoyoos on May 21

Most Read