Staff sleepover at shelter to protect animals during storm

Staff at the Dartmouth, N.S., shelter make sure animals are cared for, even if there's a storm.

When the staff at Homeward Bound City Pound saw Wednesday's impending storm rolling in, they knew it meant making sure someone could get to the animals in the morning.

While some might be tempted to call it a very, very long workday, the dedicated staff at the Dartmouth, N.S., shelter have another word: sleepover.

On Wednesday, Homeward Bound's Facebook page shared a photo of Shanda Antle, sound asleep on a blow-up mattress in one of their playrooms, with 30 kilograms of fur at her feet.

"I've never been toastier in my life," Antle said. "I slept fantastic."

Gisele Gomes, operations manager at Homeward Bound, said it's standard to have these sleepovers during a snowstorm.

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Wednesday's impending storm meant a sleepover for Homeward Bound City Pound staff member Shanda Antle, seen here sleeping in one of the playrooms with dog Hawking. Credit: Homeward Bound/Facebook

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"We are considered essential services for the animals so we really can't miss a work day," she said.

No matter the weather, the animals still require their basic care needs, such as food, bathroom breaks, medications and time to play.

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Staff say Hawking loves to snuggle. Credit: Homeward Bound/Facebook

Gomes said a staff member normally volunteers to spend the night and picks one of the animals to stay with them.

"Whoever snores less," she said, laughing. "Usually they like to snuggle."


Gomes said they're very lucky when it comes to their staff.

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"We see a lot of good and a lot of bad, so in order to make it through you need to be very passionate and dedicated to your work and to the cause," she said.

Antle said this was her fourth or fifth sleepover in the three years she's worked at Homeward Bound.

And if the weather is still looking icky on Wednesday night, she'll be staying overnight again.

"Hawking will be sharing the playroom and the mattress, after we've watched more movies on Netflix at the front desk computer."

This article was originally published by CBC News and written by Emma Davie.