Karla Shalley has had a passion for animals as long as she can remember. She has a long history of working for animal welfare and advocacy, recently returning from Mexico City with three dogs she has re-homed.
Now living in Charlottetown, PEI, she used to own the Playpen Pet Boarding and Grooming in Cranbrook. But now, she says, she feels the call of the mountains and she wants to come home.
“I am hoping to make the long journey back to the Kimberley area in order to continue my passion for pet care, make a difference in animal rescue/welfare, as well as reconnect with family, friends and colleagues whom I’ve missed terribly these last few years,” she said.
The plan is to start a small dog boarding business, but to mainly focus on being of service to animal rescue organizations that already exist in the East Kootenay.
“In doing my research, I recognized the fact that there are quite a few rescue organizations already established in the area,” Shalley said. “So rather than starting another, I’m looking to provide a service to the rescues already in operation. I would raise money and awareness and provide assistance in any way possible to various established rescues/causes. For example, if a local rescue needed coolers to provide shelter for feral cat colonies, I would raise money and awareness for that cause. When I owned The Playpen, I did bring dogs in that needed homes, and would probably do that on a really small scale as well.”
She also has dreams of a senior dog sanctuary/hospice.
“I’ll hopefully find families for the golden aged seniors that are so difficult to place in homes. There has always been a special place in my heart for senior dogs (I have seven of my own, yes you heard that right…seven!) and if a home isn’t found for any of my senior rescues, they will live their last years with me warm and safe, in a loving and beautiful place. In the past, I have spent some time volunteering at a large reputable senior dog rescue in the USA who has expressed interested in working with me which is very exciting. Now this type of rescue isn’t for everyone. It’s heart wrenching and expensive (seniors require much more veterinary care) but it’s sorely needed in our area. Puppies are cute and easy to place in a home. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of homes that open their doors and hearts to senior pets, which is exactly why I’m committed to providing care for those that have been forgotten and frankly are the first to be euthanized in the shelters.”
But the logistics of it all are difficult.
“Finding a location is a challenge,” she said. “According to the bylaws regarding animals, set out by the RDEK, I require about 10 acres, depending on land dimensions in order to have any of these plans come to life.”
She is hoping by reaching out that she will find someone willing to sell her a property in the Kimberley area at a fair price.
If you know of a property that might work for her, please contact Karla Shalley through a message on her Facebook page.