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RCMP members become pandemic pup foster parents

Members of the Grande Prairie RCMP are used to responding to all types of situations, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have found themselves answering a different kind of call altogether: the call to be a pandemic puppy parent.

Eight members from the local RCMP detachment are now the proud foster parents of animals from the not-for-profit shelter Bandaged Paws.

“We’ve had fosters from the RCMP for years, and when the pandemic hit we were trying to get all the dogs into foster care as we closed our public visiting,” explains Executive Director Natasha Arsenault. “Constable McPhee has fostered with his wife for a couple of years, and he rounded up some members who signed up for fostering and took some animals.”

Arsenault says the animals in their new foster home represent a little bit of everything, needing different degrees of training and medical care. She says the mounties took some of the more neglected cases that need a ton extra time and TLC.

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Constable Patrick McPhee says it was a chance for he and his fellow officers to stand up and help out in extraordinary ways.

“It’s pretty cool to say the least,” he says. “At the drop of a dime to help out bandaged paws was super cool… It’s a lot of work, but when they came in and said what can I do to help, I was just overwhelmed.”

McPhee adds he will continue to foster animals with his family after the pandemic restrictions begin to curtail, and has a sneaking suspicion some of his fellow officers will continue the practice as well.

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