Siksika Nation has been without a dog sanctuary for far too long, so Nation member Wayne Solway took it upon himself to fix that problem.

After living in Calgary for more than two decades, Solway said he moved back to Siksika Nation three years ago and started working in public safety. This gave him the chance to work with animal services and peace officers, and this is when he started to notice that the lack of a dog shelter had a big impact on the community.

"I've seen so many sad situations on Siksika of starvation and abandonment and they have no place to go, so I wanted to help them and make sure that they get proper care, proper homes if possible, and make sure they're taken care of," Solway said.

Solway explained because there was no dog shelter on the Nation, dogs had to travel to Red Deer, Calgary, or even further, and said it's not fair to the dogs to have to travel so far to find a place to stay. Working closely with Siksika Animal Services, he and his husband started "Soulway's Dog Sanctuary and Shelter." Beyond benefitting the dogs, he says this will help the Nation's members stay safe too, as there have been reports of dog bites and other dog attacks.

While the shelter is still new and there is more work to be done, Solway said the response from Siksika and other communities like Strathmore, Vulcan, and other nearby counties has been quite strong, and he is happy to provide this service to make sure dogs have the care they need. While he and his husband have been funding everything and making sure the shelter has all the necessary requirements, he said the support has been a huge help.

"We've been supported very well by the (Siksika) Chief and Council as well. They've been very supportive of making sure that we have everything we need basically."

There is more work to be done to fully complete Soulway's Dog Sanctuary and Shelter, but Solway says they currently have ten kennels available that they're currently using as a dog daycare. Once they get into a contract with Animal Services Solway hopes to start bringing in stray dogs from Siksika Nation and possibly get them adopted and taken care of. He added at the moment they do not take in dogs on their own, and that goes through Animal Services, so he asks people to not just drop dogs off at his shelter and contact Animal Services instead.

If you are interested in Soulway's Dog Sanctuary and Shelter's services, you can contact them at, or phone them 587-834-5634.

SolwaySolway has been hard at work getting the shelter fully operational, and is looking forward to providing even more services for dogs.

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