Way back in 1988 three pups were brought to me that had been thrown into the lake to drown. One died but two survived with bottle feeding. One was loved by my niece but she was not allowed to take the scruffy pup home. So she lived with us, Lisa lived across the street. They were inseparable after school etc.We had bought all 5 trailer lots on our street but the dog catcher didn’t know that. Sam would wait for Lisa on the last lot to come home from school. And Sam went to jail. I protested to the alderman in charge who told me, “If you don’t like the job he is doing then apply for it yourself.”
Well I did, I got it. Unclaimed dogs have to be disposed of. So I found them homes outside of Granisle. So began “A Rescue”. I needed a name for my rescue and as I was walking home I noticed our decorated storm sewer in front of our trailer.
We had painted it to look like a turtle with rock legs and head and planted a flower garden around it I admired my turtle garden and Eureka our name was born. “Slow And Steady Finds The Home” was our first motto. When my son built my first website he asked me to describe Turtle Gardens in 6 words or less and I said, “the little shelter with heart” That became our logo the heart shaped turtle and motto since 1995!! Our first adoption as Turtle Gardens was April 8, 1988. We moved to Topley in 1997.
We were the only facility for 250 square miles then and although there are other small rescues now, none have the facility to take large numbers of dogs. We have adopted over 5000 dogs since inception; an average of 227 to 250 dogs per year.
Turtle Gardens began like any other shelter with kennels and has evolved to a Group Foster Home and Rehabilitation Centre. Turtle Gardens has undergone extensive renovations to ensure the comfort and safety of our dogs. We live with the dogs as a family group; sharing our home so they learn to be a FAMILY companion.
Turtle Gardens is a family operated group home who specializes in stray/feral dogs from First Nation Communities and Municipal Pounds.
Most of our dogs are first and second generation strays they have never been in a building let alone a home. First we help them become dogs to heal their â€œinner puppy and develop a relationship of mutual respect with lots of TLC.
We teach them with positive reinforcement to learn how to learn. We give them the skills needed to adapt to city life where doggie social skills are so important in day to day living. 90% of our dogs are internet adoptions there just isn’t enough population in the north to find families for so many dogs. All of our dogs are vet checked, vaccinated, wormed and spayed or neutered. Turtle Gardens is continuing our renovations and upgrading our fencing. Turtle Gardens is situated on 27 acres of woodland and hills.