In an effort to ensure unwanted puppies go to a good home, Angels Animal Rescue is offering a new program to owners of pregnant dogs.

At no cost to the owner, the society is offering to foster mother dogs and their puppies until they’re old enough to be separated and adopted out to new homes.

In addition, the society will have the mother fixed before returning her to her owner, ensuring the process does not have to be repeated.

“That’s a program we’re trying to get going,” Angels Animal Rescue Society director Natalie McPhate told the Herald.

The program is intended to give owners incentive to get their dogs fixed, and reduce the chances of an unwanted litter of puppies being discarded.

“To find puppies in garbage bags or freezing to death because they’re out in the cold and not living inside the home — puppies can’t handle the winter the same way a big dog can,” McPhate said, adding that the problem isn’t as bad as it once was in the Nicola Valley.

The animal rescue hopes the program will enable it to build up a better rapport with dog owners, especially those who live on local First Nations reserves, McPhate told the Herald.

The society offered a similar service in the past where it would split the cost of having the dog fixed, but this time around will take the burden of puppies off the owner.

“Just getting the word out is the only way to get that one off the ground,” she said.

To contact the society residents can call 250-378-5223.