Canadian Veterinarians Buy Rabbit Island for Rescued Dogs
What a sweet story! Sometimes I get tired of reading through all the bad dog news and then I get one of these stories and it makes it all worthwhile. There IS hope for humans to become better as long as there are people like these who care about the helpless.
Thanks to the Orange County Register for this article.
Rabbit Island going to dogs
Pit bulls rescued from Hurricane Katrina will have new home.
By MARLA JO FISHER
The Orange County Register
COSTA MESA Maybe they should rename it Pit Bull Survivor Island.
A pair of veterinarians who bought Orange Coast College's remote Rabbit Island plan to use it to run their seven dogs, including four pit bulls they rescued from Hurricane Katrina.
"We're leaving next week to drive there with the dogs," said Pilar Gosselin, an animal doctor in the resort town of Canmore, near Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. "It's about a 12-hour drive."
The scenic wilderness island, near Vancouver Island in British Columbia, was donated to the college in 2001 by a local yachtsman. College officials offered summer classes there in biology and photography, among others, but the site proved too wild and remote to be a feasible field station. Maintenance on the lodge, docks and other facilities on the 36-acre island also proved costly.
College trustees voted to sell it a year ago, over the protests of some students and faculty.
Gosselin bought the island last week with her partner and fellow veterinarian, Dave Brace, and their friend, Dave Szentimrey. The trio paid $2.19 million for the property. The college plans to use the money to upgrade facilities at its sailing center in Newport Beach.
The new buyers visited the wilderness island in British Columbia for only an hour in January, in the midst of a storm, but that was enough to convince them to buy it.
"I only had to walk around for a few minutes before I knew I wanted to own it," Gosselin said.
It's been challenging, she said, to keep seven dogs in her small yard in the resort town of Canmore.
The couple spent three weeks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, helping with animal rescue, and brought 30 dogs back to Canada to find new homes.
All the dogs found homes, Gosselin said, except five who were too problematic, so she kept them, along with two dogs she already owned.
"Four are pit bulls, and they've been very difficult to place," Gosselin said. "You really have to know how to handle the breed."
One of the dogs was her first patient after the hurricane. Naturally, Gosselin named her Katrina.
Ripple, Louie, Faye are the other pit bulls. Swami was also a rescue dog, he's a shepherd mix. Then there are Gosselin's original pooches, Rottweiler Jack and Sprout, a mutt.
For the time being, the dogs will travel back and forth with them to Rabbit Island, Gosselin said. Eventually, they would like the dogs to have a permanent home there, maybe with a trusted caretaker.