This couple rescued not just one, but 45 dogs without a home – and they even built a four-acre enclosure just for them!
Sharon and Mark Starmer took their love for dogs to the next level. The couple currently lives with 45 dogs and one grey wolf – all of whom were in desperate need of a home before being rescued. These pups were often rejected by potential adopters because of their advanced age or illnesses.
But Mark and Sharon were different, they couldn’t say no to adopting every dog in need that they meet.
It all began in 2004 when the couple from Canada adopted their first rescue dog. After that, they took in other dogs who were abandoned in shelters.
Now, they have a total of 45 dogs of varying breeds and one grey wolf in their home!
“All of our dogs live indoors with us and we have no cages, pens or runs,” Mark said. “They do kind of wreck the house and the dust is awful, but they’re all fully fledged family members and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Mark and Sharon know that it is very unusual to own such a huge number of dogs, but they’re not concerned if people might think that they’re a little weird. What matters to them is that the dogs are loved, cared for, and blissfully happy.
Of course, living with a huge pack is far from easy. The couple and their son, Tristan, were forced to move out of their home in Alberta after they were informed by authorities that they had too many dogs.
“We weren’t aware of any restrictions on how many dogs we could have,” Mark said. “‘We were told that either the dogs had to go or we did. There was no contest.”
It took the family three long years to find a home, and they found a perfect one with a four-acre enclosure where their dogs can roam freely!
There are also financial burdens that come with having too many dogs. Their vet bills go through the roof, especially with the elderly dogs who have poor health. The cost of feeding them is also sky high.
“Caring for 46 dogs is unimaginably expensive. Sometimes it’s a case of buying food for the dogs or for us, but it will always be them. We only get by because of the wonderful support from our food supplier and friends,” Mark said.
They also had to give up a few luxuries since they decided to adopt all 45 dogs. The family never takes holidays because they just can’t leave their pack for too long.
The couple is still willing to take in more pets, but they are now more focused on finding the dogs their own forever homes, and Mark is willing to go through great lengths for that to happen – literally and figuratively. Recently, he went on a 3,000-mile round trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico just to deliver a dog to his new family.
“As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to dogs, the end of the earth isn’t too far to go,” he said.
Watch the video of all 45 dogs running excitedly into their new four-acre pen!