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Confessions of a Rescue Mom

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Rolo's Guide to Being a Pet in Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray is an amazing place to raise a family as well as a pet. Rolo, my dog who was adopted from the Fort McMurray SPCA, knows every in and out of being a pet in Fort McMurray. Here are some things you must know as an animal owner living in our community:

1. Be sure to register your animal every year with Animal Control/Bylaw. You can do that by visiting them at two locations: 105 Paquette Drive or 9909 Franklin Avenue.

2. Keep your pets happy and healthy by staying up to date on your their vaccinations and yearly check-ups. You can get them done at these locations: Wood Buffalo Small Animal Hospital (780-715-9369), Aurora Vet (780-715-1127), Thickwood Vet (780-790-1622) and Fort McMurray Animal Hospital (780-743-4044).

3. Keep a collar and ID tag on your pet at all times. You never know when they might decide to go for a joyride.

4. Always carry poop bags! Cleaning up after your pet is a priority.

Fort McMurray has many things families with pets can do to keep busy. Here is a list of Rolo’s favourite things to do while living in YMM:

1. Visit the off leash dog parks. Thickwood Bark Park (On Signal Road), FMSPCA Dog Park (155 MacAlpine Crescent – must have FMSPCA yearly membership to visit) and Beaconhill Dog Park (across from Good Shepherd school).

2. Hit the trails (don’t forget your poop bags). Birchwood Trails (Thickwood) & Abasand Trails (Abasand)both have great walking trails.

3. Take your pet on a coffee date. Tim Hortons and Starbucks both have benches and tables outside and allow pets outside.

4. Visit a pet store. All pet stores in town allow animals into them. Bring your animal by for a special treat.

5. Take a dip in the water. Gregoire Lake allows pets on leash to go to the lake as long as they do not go on the beach. There is still an area for pets to swim out there. Snye River is a good place to swim as well. Be sure to rinse your pets off after swim time is over.

Being part Husky, Rolo enjoys his cold winter days when the snow is falling and the wind is blowing. To ensure his safety while being outside, we have put together a list of must have items to survive a chilly winter up north:

1. Paw Butter: keeps those feet in tip top shape and prone to cracking, drying & frostbite

2. Bootie: protect your pets’ feet from frostbite, chemicals and can also provide extra traction.

3. Jacket: keeps them warm and insulated as the heat tries to escape their bodies

4. Lighted Leash or Collar: stay visible while out for walks.

All of these items are available at the pet stores here in Fort McMurray.

We hope you check out some of Rolo’s favourite things to do in Fort McMurray as well as discover your own. Endless opportunities are available here in YMM for all things furry and fuzzy!


Kimberley, a lover of all things animal, was born and raised in Merritt, British Columbia.  In 2006, at the age of only 19, she found her way to the heart of the oil sands, Fort McMurray, and has been here ever since.  She calls YMM home alongside her husband (Brett), stepson (Cameron) & dog (Rolo).  With being a professional pet blogger her passion for being an animal advocate & animal lover has stretched beyond our region reaching all over the world with her blog “Confessions of a Rescue Mom”.  The blog was inspired by her Internet-famous, former shelter dog, Rolo who was adopted from the Fort McMurray SPCA in 2011.  She loves sharing tips & ideas on how to make your pet parent experience perfect!