If she isn’t rescued from a First Nations reserve today, a pregnant shep­herd’s pups will likely die soon after they’re born.

Volunteers from an under-staffed organization plan to drive to Hobbema today in hopes of coaxing the near-feral dog out of hiding. Tessa will likely disappear and give birth in seclusion, away from food or medical care.

“If we don’t rescue her, we don’t know what will happen,” said Krysta McNutt, Humane Animal Rescue Team volunteer co-ordinator.

Sadly, Tessa’s story is common on area reserves, which are the group’s primary focus. Overrun with unspayed and unneutered dogs, about 75 per cent of the animals on sites like Hobbema and fly-in reserves like Frog Lake are homeless.

Residents will feed the animals, but either can’t afford to house and provide proper veterinary care or don’t think it necessary, McNutt said.

Though the volunteer organization has placed 500 dogs in homes in the past five years, demand always outweighs resources, she added. “We say we’re going for one dog, but once we get out there, there will be other dogs that need help. We can’t say no,” she said.

The no-kill, donation-based group has run out of foster homes. The need for space is so severe, the group’s founders are currently fostering 16 puppies in their home.

Organizers hope two adoption events will unearth prospective pet owners. HART’s puppies will be appearing at the Terra Losa Petsmart (9937-170 St.) on Saturday and the Skyview Petsmart (13916-137 Ave.) on Sunday.

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