Stay up-to-date on what's happening at the Regional Animal Protection Society


Sparkie, a Maltese cross who was difficult to adopt because of complicated food allergies, has found an Okanagan home where life is better than OK.

Cheryl Unger had lost one of her two dogs to congestive heart failure in December and was seeking a senior dog as a companion for herself and her remaining 14-year-old dog. Cheryl had seen 12-year-old Sparkie on the RAPS website but thought he was too far away from her Okanagan home.

While visiting family in Richmond at Easter, Cheryl looked at the website again and was surprised to see Sparkie still there.

“So we came to visit him at your shelter,” she writes. “He was a nice, mellow little dog and seemed to be a good fit with my dog. So we adopted him. I honestly expected that a dog who had been living in a shelter environment for an extended time period would have issues with social skills and house training etc. However, I was very surprised that we have had none. He has fit into our home as though he has always lived here.”

Sparkie’s issues with allergies require a special diet and regular baths. RAPS provided some special food, medications and bathing supplies so that Cheryl and Sparkie had what they needed when they arrived home.

Sparkie’s skin condition has improved, his eyes are bright and clear and he is scratching far less.

“While his allergies are not gone, we are hopeful the symptoms are manageable,” Cheryl writes. “Sparkie loves going for walks and has become the leader, with my other dog happy to follow as she has always done. He is a little reactive to other dogs and people on our walks, but if we step back and wait so that he knows they are coming, he is eager to meet them. Sparkie is loving our sunshine and is often lounging on the pool deck. (I have to keep moving him into the shade or indoors as I don’t want him to get sunburnt.)

“Sparkie has quickly and easily become part of our family and we are happy that we made a great choice,” says Cheryl, who commends RAPS staff for keeping animals well-adjusted while they wait for their forever homes.

“Sparkie now has his.”