Thank You From the Animals

Submitted by: Micheline Carstairs |
Fall is once again upon us, and along with fall seems to be an increase in animals that are abandoned and in dire need of the services of our group, the Swan Valley Animal Protection League (SVAPL).

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This past year has been an extremely busy year for our group with the December 2010 seizure of 27 German Shepherd Dogs. The usual influx of other animals did not cease during this time. We have continued taking in many more cats, dogs and even rabbits. Aside from taking in animals to rehabilitate and re-home, we also provide a lost and found service through our Facebook page, as well as posters placed at local businesses and the veterinarian office. It always surprises us that many people in our community are not aware of our existence, even though we have been around for many years. That tells us we need to do a better job at promoting our group. Our group provides a much needed service, especially with the lack of Animal Control Officers in some of the surrounding Rural Municipalities.

The care of unwanted and abused animals is a community responsibility. We wish to express our gratitude to the local businesses, service clubs, and people who have shown us tremendous support through their generous donations, whether it be through cash donations, pet food and other pet supplies, materials and labour provided in the construction of our dog and cat facilities, or free advertising to help place the animals and thank many of our donors. We are also very thankful for our local veterinarians, who we rely on to help process the many animals that pass through our hands, whether it’s through spaying and neutering, dealing with injuries, illness or parasites.

We rely solely on the generosity of donations, and this past year, with the seizure of the German Shepherds and all the attention it brought, we saw donations coming in from many different groups and places. We also had people rally on our behalf, who wrote letters to Purina Dog Food, which landed us a large quantity of donated dog food. Typically though, the donations flow in at a much slower rate. Consequently, it is important that a group like ours which functions solely on donations and small grants keeps informing the public of our achievements. The public deserves to feel confident that their donations are being put to good use. We have a regularly updated Facebook page advising of the animals that we have taken in, those that have been successfully placed into ‘forever homes’, as well as the Lost & Found section. Our league advertises all over therefore many of the animals get placed outside of the Valley as well, including Winnipeg & Brandon. When an animal is adopted, we do ask for a donation to help offset the cost of veterinary services and other costs incurred while the animal(s) was in our care.

Since January 2011, we have taken in over 100 animals, including 60 dogs, 44 cats, 1 mother rabbit with 6 babies and 2 Lion-headed rabbits. Of all these animals, we have 6 Dogs and 9 cats and a fresh litter of newborn kittens at this time that are left to place. Nearly all these animals require surgery for spay/neuter. Many had other medical issues. Now try to imagine all those animals, this year alone, running around loose and having more puppies, kittens & so on. With that thought in mind, we all get the picture. We feel this drives home the message that our organization does provide a very essential service to the valley.

We work with a very small number of volunteers and would welcome anyone interested in helping out to please consider joining the SVAPL. We recognize that not everyone is able to get involved with the animals directly, but we would also welcome members who would like to take on positions with our executive and help with the flow of paper work, record keeping, and organizational duties. With so many animals in our care, there are always a lot of jobs that need to be done. In the next little while, we are hoping to have our dog facility completed. In order to complete this project, we are asking for help with a little more painting, as well as some welding to finish up the gates.

We hope that the people of this valley will rally along with us in helping care for the many stray, abused and unwanted animals. We are open to your questions & appreciate your support. Any inquiries about dogs may be directed to Audrey at 734-5149, and cat inquiries can be directed to Tammy at 734-4454.

“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” Albert Einstein

In closing, we would like to remind everyone, please, spay & neuter your animals!