Calgary Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar and his fiancee Meg are teaming up with a local organization to help make a difference for animals off the ice.
The couple partnered with Parachutes for Pets to create the Weegz and Wagz pet wellness program. It will help people who are not fortunate enough to get free veterinary care for their animals.
Weegar is an animal lover and says the point is to save these animals.
“You know how to save a pet from dying or whatever happens in hard times or whatever. You know, to hold them is huge and it’s a privilege to be a part of this charity,” he said.
Weegz and Wagz pet wellness program opened Wednesday.
It’s a service that will help many Calgarians. Melissa David is the executive director and founder of Parachutes for Pets. She says Weegz and Wagz provides a holistic approach to pet care.
“Veterinary care and custody,” he said. “We’re seeing a housing crisis in Calgary right now, so unfortunately a lot of these people are going to be homeless and now they have to surrender their pets.
“We have a custodial program, we have a grooming program. Grooming is very expensive and many dogs need it medically so we can do grooming at home. We also have our pet food bank and vet days. So what we’re trying to do with this program is whatever barrier we can remove to allow people to stay with their pets.”
DOGS MEAN A LOT
Leslie Schamehorn is homeless. He brought his two dogs to the clinic for a checkup.
Schamehorn says he doesn’t know what he would do without Sam and Sky.
“It’s my everything,” he said.
“They are my therapy and if it wasn’t for them I’m not sure where I’d be today. They give me motivation and the desire to continue.”
HIGH DEMAND FOR SERVICES
Dr. Cody Creelman says having partners like the Weegars is vital to pet rescue and the demand is endless.
“There are endless pets out there that need medical care, but even just preventative care. As it is today it is very important to prevent diseases in the future. Providing basic level vaccinations and deworming is integral from a health perspective,” he said.
LOVING HIS DOGS
The Weegars have two dogs, and Mackenzie says he shuddered at the thought of having to give them up. That’s why this program is so near and dear to him.
“You know we love them to death and you know I think about them now and I don’t know what I would do without those two dogs,” she said.
“They mean the world to me and I couldn’t imagine anyone going through a hard time and having to give up and it’s emotional to even think about.”