A winner in Vancouver magazine's Best of Vancouver 2010, West Coast Tails professional pet service is the brainchild of Candace Herrod, a former veterinary worker who grew up surrounded by pets. With the help of her husband, Ryan, she expanded her small pet-sitting business to include 16 bonded, insured, and pet-first-aid-trained attendants who perform services where pets are at their happiest—at home. When customers are away for extended periods of time, staff members stop by homes to give love and attention to dogs and cats that have grown bored of their toys and already plowed through the complete oeuvre of Dostoyevsky. They also walk dogs in private 30-minute sessions, brush up pets' manners with obedience training, and cart them around town with pet taxi services. For owners’ peace of mind, attendants care for pets seven days a week, including holidays, and field both special and last-minute requests. The company recently started offering equine care, during which attendants arrive at stables to pamper horses with grooming, lunging, and road walks.
As one of the first veterinary practices in Canada to install an underwater treadmill and therapy pool, Aldergrove Animal Hospital gives pets care that rivals what their owners get. In tandem with The SPAW Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, therapists heal dogs with aquatic care that ranges from therapeutic ultrasounds to non-impact water exercise. Of course, Drs. Jeff Bowra and Sharon Moloney and their team of animal-care specialists would prefer that dogs never need physical therapy, which is why they provide preventative and emergency veterinary care tailored for puppies and kittens through senior animals. They also strive to take care of animals beyond the hospital's facilities, giving owners online care guides on topics such as parasite prevention and how to save for dog college.
Spay and neuter surgeries change the lives of free-roaming cats. For females, it means a lower risk of infections and pregnancy complications; for males, less fighting and fewer health problems. When the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project started in 1997, the mission was to spay and neuter as many free-roaming cats as possible, helping reduce overpopulation and the need for euthanasia deaths in community shelters.
Today, the organization has expanded its work to include all cats, including those with homes. When a cat arrives for surgery, it also receives a basic health exam, rabies vaccination, and, for free-roaming cats, an ear tip to identify it as spayed or neutered. Since its inception, the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project has performed the surgery on more than 82,000 cats. The organization collaborates with other like-minded groups and individuals striving to care for animals in a safe, humane environment.
Dorothy Moore, owner of The Dining Dog, indulges canines with her full menu of meals and treats oriented to dogs' particular senses of taste. Tongues lap up doggy cocktails with names such as the Barkarita, and teeth happily crunch into entrees of fresh veggies, turkey loaf, steak, or chicken that have attracted the attention of local press and celebrities alike. Owners can further reward pets or buy their eternal silence with cupcakes in flavors that range from steak and cheese to peanut-butter bacon.
With 18,000 square feet of boarding facilities and 10 park-like spaces for pups to romp in, the Academy of Canine Behavior is a true pet-care destination. Dogs bunk down with the staff of trainers and behaviorists for the signature five-week Board and Train program, during which they learn proper manners, such as how to share toys, greet guests, and do their own taxes. Both boarding and daycare guests frolic in indoor or outdoor dog runs during the day, and cats can daydream about enemy birds in their own exclusive area. Owners can also schedule sessions with the on-site groomer, who has experience with hard-to-handle animals, especially those who insist on doing their own makeup.
The chief tenant of the Just Love Animals Society's mission is to educate pet owners about holistic animal care. To achieve this, the nonprofit's directors help to organize events such as Pet-A-Palooza, one of Victoria's largest one-day pet adopt-a-thons, and Running of the Bulls, a 10K race for Chihuahuas in costume. These efforts directly impact local rescue shelters, generating both the funds and awareness needed to keep them operating and placing animals with loving families.
As a completely independent enterprise, Just Love Animals Society relies solely on fundraising, donations, and volunteerism.