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West Kelowna has gone to the dogs

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 | 2:43 pm

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By Kathy Michaels

The parking lot near the Bone and Biscuit in West Kelowna was over-run with pooches this morning.

The shop, which caters to dogs’ varying needs,  held a fundraiser for the Friends4Ever Animal Rescue Society and if smiling pets and owners account for anything, it was a success just one hour in — although the fact that they raised close to $700 by day’s end was the real coup.

“I just wanted to get my customers together to help out,” said shop owner Carla Anderson, of the event she aptly named “route for the underdog.”

She was able to lure them to her shop with offers of free nail trims by Happy Tails dog grooming, and agility training by Up ‘n” Over Dog Agility, but the real crowd pleaser were the society’s two dogs who had come from their foster homes, on the off chance they may find something more permanent. 

A lumbering and friendly bull-mastiff, British bulldog mix, charmed both people and pooches one-tenth of his size, while  a Staffordshire Bull Terrier holed up in side the store. Both were friendly, but Shayne Ermel who started the society pointed out just because a dog is attractive and gentle, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically the right fit for any family.

“They’re both bull breeds, which are bullies, and they need to be handled carefully — they just need the right owner,” he said.

And finding the right owner for local dogs in need  is what he’s focused on for some time. Ermel and his partners started the  society because they believe West Kelowna is in need of an organization that’s aim is working toward  the greater good of  pets, both with loving owners and without.

“What we are building towards now is a shelter,” he said. “We’re looking for land to set up kennels and right now we have a bunch of people who foster our dogs and help permanently place them.

They are in the early stages of reaching the goal of opening a shelter, but they have a wealth of experience in dealing with placing pets. They have been involved with rescue organizations, including volunteering at such places as SPCA Kelowna and Okanagan Boxer Rescue. They have also fostered dogs for a number of years and since starting the society have put two rescued dogs in homes.

friends4ever shelter

For more information go to or email Ermel at

West Kelowna has gone to the dogs5.052

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