Central Alberta crash involving 30 rescue animals leaves 3 dogs dead

WARNING: Some people may find certain details in this story disturbing.

EDMONTON – A crash near Olds Saturday morning has left three dogs dead and numerous more wounded.

Two women were reportedly driving to Edmonton from Los Angeles — hauling a horse trailer filled with 30 rescue dogs — when they lost control of their SUV. It happened roughly two kilometres south of the Olds overpass on Highway 2 around 7 a.m., according to officials.

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“There were dogs all over the highway. Some were dead, some were not moving, some were unconscious,” said April Oakes.

Oakes, who was contacted by a paramedic at the scene, is the founder of Edmonton-based Infinite Woods Animal Rescue Society — one of several organizations now helping raise money for the veterinary bills of the injured animals.

“Some had broken bones with the bones sticking out…and there [were] broken kennels laying on the highway, and dogs running around on the highway.

“I know that a bunch of bystanders stopped and tried to catch and help out these animals.”

A crew from Calgary’s Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society was among those who rushed to the scene to help; they were joined by a veterinarian from Olds College, which has since taken in about 20 animals.

By Saturday afternoon, RCMP say seven dogs were still missing and local volunteers were helping search for them.

“I know that one Chihuahua was found a mile away from where the accident was. So it had travelled quite far in that short period of time,” Oakes said.

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Two of the rescued pups from the crash near Olds, Alberta Saturday, September 13, 2014.

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS)

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One of the rescued pups from the crash near Olds, Alberta Saturday, September 13, 2014.

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS)

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Volunteers help clean up following a crash involving 30 rescue dogs on Highway 2 near Olds; September 13, 2014

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS)

The two women who were transporting the animals both suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, but have since been released from hospital. Their names and ages are not known; however, they are reportedly with Adopt A Paw Haven, which is based out of Saskatoon.

RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

“The preliminary investigation suggests driver error, where fatigue may have been a factor,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Dunsmore.

He adds that speed, alcohol, weather and road conditions are not considered factors in the crash.

Olds is located about 60 kilometres south of Red Deer.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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