Port Moody brewery throws puppy adoption party

A lineup of families and pooches wound around the block by late morning

It doesn’t take much to bring out the crowds along Port Moody’s Brewers Row, but throw a puppy party and the whole Lower Mainland will show up. 

In celebration of two irresistible draws, Moody Ales hosted ‘Puppies and Pints’ Saturday, May 12, a dog and kid friendly puppy adoption party held in partnership with Uptown Dawg and the non-profit canine rescue group Companion Animal Advocacy and Rescue Group, otherwise known as CAARE.

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Port Moody sisters Alex Blumberg and Sarah Gardner along with Allison Ribeaux founded CAARE back in 2014 after years of working in non-profits. 

“We were always dog people,” said Gardner. “We had vision, so we started our own.” 

The group mostly works with sympathetic locals across remote communities in Nunavut and and Manitoba where there are few veterinarians and a regular culls.

“They bring us strays. They feed them, hold on to them, get them to the airport,” said Gardner.

The three women used to run a team on a satellite ranch in Winnipeg, but as a passion project in which they often spend their own money to keep things going, they have slimmed down the operation to focus on the logistics of transferring dogs from desperate conditions to loving homes.

The two sisters still hold day jobs: Gardner works at a seniors home and Blumberg is a fitness instructor who once appeared on the TV show the Bachelor as Alex B.

Port Moody sisters Sarah Gardner and Alex Blumberg helped found CAARE back in 2014 after years of wo
Port Moody sisters Sarah Gardner and Alex Blumberg helped found CAARE back in 2014 with the idea of transferring strays from remote northern communities to loving homes - Stefan Labbé

But the stars of the puppy adoption party were four rescues, including Mr. Fluffy, an 11-week-old Sheppard mix that was attacked by another dog and left for dead in a Manitoba shed. 

After somebody found the pooch, he brought him to a vet.

“They revived him, removed his eye. He had skull fractures, brain swelling,” said Jennifer Broughton, general manager at Uptown Dawg and a CAARE volunteer who adopted a dog herself through the organization last year.

And while by the end of the event, each of the dogs were spoken for, Broughton said there are always new litters coming in.

Like most adoption agencies, the puppies can’t go to any home. Adopting families must go through an application process that includes a home visit and socialization process. Perspective homes cannot have cats, or even other dogs. Then, the new family has to go through a one- to two-day trial period. If everything works out, there’s an adoption fee of at least $550 that includes shots and a procedure to either spade or neuter the animal.

Steveston’s Bethany Harper brought her three-year-old Great Pyrenees cross Nikita to the party to so
Steveston’s Bethany Harper brought her three-year-old Great Pyrenees cross Nikita to the party to socialize - Stefan Labbé

In the end, many showed up to simply show their solidarity with the animals, a sunny patio and, well, beer.

Steveston’s Bethany Harper and Corey Roberts brought their three-year-old Great Pyrenees cross, Nikita, to the party simply to socialize.

Surrey resident Vicki Hsieh saw the event posted on Facebook brought her seven-year-old Golden Retri
Surrey resident Vicki Hsieh saw the event posted on Facebook brought her seven-year-old Golden Retriever-Chow mix, Matsu - Stefan Labbé

Others came with their own rescued dogs, like Surrey resident Vicki Hsieh, who after seeing the event posted on Facebook brought her seven-year-old Golden Retriever-Chow mix, Matsu. 

“We thought, ‘Let’s come here for Matsu,’” she said. 

“What better combination: beer and dogs.”

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