General Info


Pet concerns leave owners worried

Some animal emergency services offered in Port Alberni, but drive to Nanaimo may be necessary

Keri Sculland, Alberni Valley Times -Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pet owners in Port Alberni are becoming concerned with the distance they may have to travel in the event of an animal emergency after hours.

Since the spring, Port Alberni veterinarians have not offered 24-hour emergency care for pets. Previously, the four clinics in the city took turns being on-call for emergencies, but the system is no longer in place.

Carol Sexton and Jeanette Saxby are two concerned residents who are looking for a solution to their worries.

Carol Sexton has created a petition to reinstate on-call emergency care for pets in the Alberni Valley. Currently, owners must travel to Nanaimo most of the time to receive emergency care for their pets.View Larger ImageView Larger Image

Carol Sexton has created a petition to reinstate on-call emergency care for pets in the Alberni Valley. Currently, owners must travel to Nanaimo most of the time to receive emergency care for their pets.

Last week, Saxby picked a cat up from the road that had been severely injured after being hit by a car. With nowhere to take the cat, Saxby brought it home and did her best to help it throughout the night.

Saxby, 70, is unable to drive at night. With her involvement in Sunshine Club, she understands that many pet owners might be in the same situation.

It is difficult for veterinarians in Port Alberni to provide emergency services, Dr. Patty Radcliffe from Pacific Rim Veterinary Hospital said that because the Nanaimo hospital deals specifically with emergencies, pets would receive better care from that clinic.

Having on-call doctors in Port Alberni does not mean animals will be cared for immediately, she added. Sometimes it can take upwards of half an hour to an hour before veterinarians can make it into their office, set up and prepare to deal with the situation at hand.

“I understand it is not easy to drive down there with an upset pet,” Radcliffe sympathized. “A pet that goes to a 24-hour dedicated emergency clinic receives better care.”

A lot of equipment and skill goes into handling a myriad of emergency situations, and in some cases, Port Alberni veterinarians were unable to help, and pets were sent to Nanaimo anyway.

In the past, the only dedicated emergency clinic was in Victoria. Pets from Port Alberni were being transported there for treatment of their injuries, Radcliffe explained. With the clinic in Nanaimo, owners and pets do not have to travel as far.

In addition, the emergency clinic in Nanaimo charges much less than the recommended fee, which was what Port Alberni charged.

Even still, Sexton and Saxby want to see more care in Port Alberni.

“It gives me a sense of security to know these guys are OK,” Sexton said about her three Chihuahuas.

Since she began her quest for care, Sexton has heard too many sad stories about animals not making it to clinics on time.

She has created a petition, which is available at The Purple Paw, Shar-Kare Feeds and Pet Supplies, Swale Rock Cafe and Animal Ark.

Sexton is waiting to see if the petition catches on. In the mean time, she wants to write letters to the city council and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to see if she can gather more support.

In Port Alberni, Manzini Animal Hospital has veterinarians on call two days per week and two weekends per month. Other animal hospitals in Port Alberni either did not provide after-hour emergency service or were not available for comment at this time.


AVKC Basic Obedience Classes – 2012

Nancy Quist, our AVKC Obedience Instructor, is once again starting a class for basic obedience.  Although it is geared for young dogs who have not had any training, it is also good as a refresher or for those that are going on to take the Canine Good Neighbour test.

  • The current class is being held on Thursdays at 7:00 pm,  until May 24, 2012.  The cost is $60.

The next session will be held in the fall.

You must call Nancy to pre-register at (250)723-1053.  She will review your dog’s history so she can balance the classes.  She will also give you further details and answer any questions. 

10 Reasons Your Dog Wants to Come to Whistler



  1. A visit to Auntie Kim’s Better Bickies dog treat stand at the Whistler Farmer’s Market for one of their small batch handmade dog treats.
  2. The chance to strut his stuff around Whistler Village. It’s kind of the opposite of people-watching, but you can practically hear him saying, Yes, I am too sexy for this leash.
  3. The decidedly pet-friendly accommodation. (Given his choice, Titan is partial to The Four Seasons Resort & Spa Whistler. Can’t imagine where he gets that from? The special dog bed, fancy dog dishes and doting staff that welcome him make Titan feel like the rockstar he imagines himself to be.)
  4. Cruising for new dog friends, particularly pretty ones, at Lost Lake’s Canine Cove Dog Beach, one of two off-leash dog beaches in Whistler. Burning off steam at “Arf’a Lake Park”, the all-day dog zone at Alpha Lake Park, one of several off-leash parks where it’s easy to run a little wild.
  5. Heading out on one of the numerous hiking trails. Giving himself a belly-soak in the River of Golden Dreams at Meadow Park is a favourite way to get close to nature.
  6. For a good workout, especially while the parents are busy, Titan hooks up with his boys for a 3-4 hour off-leash dog hike, thanks to Alpine Dogs.
  7. For a more pampering soak after a day of full-body immersion in the sights and smells of Whistler, Titan appreciates a hydro-massage bath and fluff dry at Bubbles Dog Spa.
  8. The fundraiser WAG Dog Wash & BBQ on July 24 allows him to give back to the Whistler dog community and all those orphaned pooches less fortunate than he is.
    Other dog festivals and events throughout the year give Titan his black-tie moments – from April’s Dogfest to the red-carpet K9 Wine and Dine fundraiser.
  9. Helping mom keep the Frisbee in sight as she attempts a round of Disc Golf.
  10. Flirting with the lovely pet-sitters who take care of him while “the parents” go for a dinner out.


New Website

Welcome to the Alberni Valley Kennel Club’s new website.  It is currently being designed and updated.  Come back soon and check it out.