Food and Shelter

All-Weather Shelters for Dogs & Cats

You could say that the Lakes Animal Friendship Society was built around dog houses!  Our volunteers started working together on dog houses.  The first houses were pretty nice but they were big, they were heavy, and they were expensive.   Then we started “renovating” donated dog houses.  A lot of those were big, heavy and falling apart!

Then local industrial arts teacher Dirk Hofer and the students of Lakes District Secondary School created an excellent dog and cat shelter made from a single sheet of plywood plus some other materials. 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.

Since 2010, over 250 “Hofer Houses” have been built for dogs and cats in need, by groups such as the LDSS industrial arts program and the CNC residential building maintenance programs.  The flat packs have been assembled by families and children all over our community and from Laxgalts’ap to Langley.  Many of these houses were painted by elementary students.  The students at Babine Elementary Secondary School are famous for the recycled denim blankets they have sewed for the dog houses. The Hofer House Design has been shared with groups around the world so even more dogs and cats can have a place to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The dog house project is featured in our book “Out of the Cold” which has been translated into seven languages and counting.

You can make your own dog house by downloading these simple step-by-step instructions.

Need a list of materials?  Check out this chart.

Check out Lyle Phillips’ Video about the “Out of the Cold” project where you can meet Dirk Hofer, the industrial arts teacher behind the design used in building over 200 of our dog /cat houses.


Hungry families have hungry pets.  We want to make sure everyone is properly fed.  We provide the Lakes District Food Bank with year-round access to pet food.   Before this program began, the Food Bank had few donations of pet food and no space to store it.

Volunteers collect donated food from sources in the Lower Mainland (which we supplement as required, for example with purchases of cat food which is donated less frequently).  We work with transport companies and local businesses to handle and store the food for the food bank.  Food bank volunteers can collect the food as they need it.  The food bank even operates a mobile unit which helps get this pet food out into the rural areas of our community.