Paws N Claws Freedom Rescue Society in Oliver closing its doors after years of helping animals

Beloved pet rescue closing

A Oliver-based rescue that has spent years helping hundreds of animals is closing its doors, with their founder looking to step back to focus on other projects.

The Paws N Claws Freedom Rescue Society officially announced its closure on Monday, from their president Joeline Laliberte.

“I have been working with animals, basically all my life, rescuing has just been something I was kind of born with,” Laliberte said.

“Running a rescue is extremely demanding, extremely stressful. It definitely has its good points for sure, but when you're seeing a lot of terrible things, and working with some that don't survive, and that sort of thing, it's hard.”

“It's so demanding and there's no time for yourself, there's no time for your family, your partner, even, those things tend to get put to the side. Unintentionally, but they do, it's a 24/7 job.”

The rescue was based out of her home and outbuildings in Oliver, with many fosters taking care of pets until they were placed in their forever homes.

“Overall as a whole, it's been an amazing experience and I wouldn't trade it. The good and the bad, I would not trade it for anything. But I have some other goals and dreams and things that me and my partner want to do and accomplish.”

While Paws N Claws rescue is closing, the three key women involved in the organization will be taking their skills to open up their own rescue. Brigitte Brannigan, Danica Floto, and Saydie Koral will announce their rescue when it’s fully operational.

“We won't be losing another rescue. But we'll be gaining one,” Laliberte added.

While things wind down with the remaining animals in their care, the team will be ensuring that all animals in their care are adopted to the best homes. But they are no longer taking in any more animals.

“Certainly, I'm never going to push anybody away, if they come to me, and they need help, I'll definitely find some way to help them because that's just what I do.”

Moments that stick out for Laliberte over the years include rescuing over 100 cats from an Okanagan hoarding situation that multiple rescues came together to help with, and saving some newborn cats that she bottle-fed and hand-raised, which ended up staying in her home.

“I wouldn't have been able to do this without my community here and the surrounding communities. The help, the love and the compassion has just been overwhelming.

“I wouldn't have been able to run this rescue without those people. They made it. I just did the work basically.”

Visit the Paws N Claws website to view their remaining animals that are in need of homes.

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