Volunteers construct a dog house according to the design of the Hofer House. (Submitted photo)

Volunteers build 45 dog houses

Animal welfare groups managed to build 45 all-weather dog houses in Smithers on July 6.

The builders hope their feat represented the biggest single day dog house build in British Columbia history.

The Big Build event was jointly organized by the Lakes Animal Friendship Society (LAFS), Vet to Pet Mobile Veterinary Services and the Northwest Animal Shelter Society.

A dozen volunteers from the three groups worked for seven and a half hours to build the houses, the materials for which were donated by the Smithers Lumber Yard.

“We did have some tremendous donations of woodworking tools for the project. The Options Program in Burns Lake donated a great set of power tools to us and also Julie Hodson from Vanderhoof donated a table saw,” as Alistair Schroff, one of the founders of LAFS told Lakes District News.

The houses were built according to the Hofer House design, named after Dirk Hofer, an industrial arts teacher at Lakes District Secondary School in Burns Lake.

Hofer’s work featured a single sheet of plywood and some other materials, far simpler than LAFS’ previous design, which produced houses that were “big, heavy and expensive,” according to its website.

“The College of New Caledonia residential building maintenance program expanded on the concept by creating ‘ready to assemble’ flat packs of dog houses that can be transported where they are needed,” LAFS said.

For almost a decade, more than 250 Hofer Houses have been built for dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals and given out across B.C. and as far away as Ontario and Alabama.

Schroff said he’s confident their build day set a new record, though he hasn’t yet contacted the Guinness World Records to certify that it was the biggest in provincial history.

“Most dog house builds we have been involved with are school projects that would take place over multiple days, and I think the most that have been built in a particular class project is around 30. The key here is [that it’s] a single day,” he explained.

“We hope that our record falls soon after it is made, and challenge other groups to get involved in making shelters for needy critters.”

All the newly built houses will be donated people and communities that need them.

“Vet to Pet Mobile will soon be taking some kits to Witset as part of a veterinary outreach visit. Others will go with her and her team in their travels to underserved communities across the region. Northwest Animal Shelter Society will hang onto kits for animals in their service area which runs from Kitwanga to Houston. LAFS brought twenty kits back for animals in the Lakes District and surrounding communities.”

House plans, instructions and materials charts are available on LAFS’ website http://www.lakesanimalfriendship.ca.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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The collapsible dog houses are transported on a trailer after they were built in Smithers, on July 6. (Submitted photo)

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