Though they don’t have a shelter of their own in Nova Scotia, Litters ‘n Critters Animal Rescue, a Nova Scotia-based animal rescue group, is planning to build one in Labrador. Surprisingly, the proposed shelter is not for Litters ‘n Critters but for another rescue group entirely.
The shelter Litters ‘n Critters dreams of is for a struggling group of SPCA volunteers in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area of Labrador, whose own tiny shelter is being held together by duct tape and a prayer.
“They work tirelessly every day to save hundreds of homeless and abused animals from all over Labrador,” says Litters n’ Critters’ president, Shelley Cunningham. “Their stray animal population is out of control, yet they have a limited capacity to take in animals with their current shelter.”
So the all-volunteer Nova Scotia rescue is planning a “Habitat for Humanity” project for their Labrador colleagues and is enlisting the help of friends, other volunteers and trades people in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay areawho are willing to help build the desperately needed new shelter.
At a time when many animal rescue groups compete with each other for supporters and funds, the arm-in-arm approach of Litters ‘n Critters with the struggling Labrador SPCA is inspiring.
“We are fortunate here in Nova Scotia to have a large volunteer base to help foster animals and raise funds to help with our costs so we are pleased to be able to reach across borders and assist a northern community that is struggling,” says Shelley.
But a dream shelter wasn’t always in the works. At first, Litters ‘n Critters arranged transport to Nova Scotia for the animals the Labrador SPCA rescued but had no room to house in their dilapidated shelter. Litters n’ Critters placed these animals among their network of foster care families until they could be adopted into safe and loving homes in Nova Scotia. But in the end, Shelley knew it was a finger-in-the-dam approach. Clearly the Labrador SPCA needed a new shelter and it was apparent that they couldn’t build one on their own.
Despite the fact that the Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA rescues hundreds of abused and stray animals from all over Labrador, it receives only $10,000 a year from the provincial government. The rest, including the over $20,000 in food costs and the thousands more in day-to-day operations is funded strictly through public donations and fundraising events.
Though they have appealed to both the federal and provincial governments for added financial help, they have yet to receive it.
“The governments turn a blind-eye,” Shelley says.“Building a new shelter for them is our way to say thanks to all the amazing volunteers across Labrador for all the wonderful animals they’ve saved and for all the dogs and cats they have sent us to be adopted here in Nova Scotia.”
Already$80,000.00has been raised for the Labrador shelter. And additional support has come from two unlikely sources: Anne Squires, owner of Exit Realty on the Rock, a Newfoundland realty franchise, has committed to raising $100,000.00 and Peter Kohler Windows and Entrance Systems has donated windows and doors to the amount of $10,000.00.
Still the Nova Scotia rescue is about $60,000.00short to build the kind of rescue the Labrador SPCA needs. But their paws are crossed that the money will come in.
In the meantime, the Nova Scotia group has been recognized as one of Canada’s top rescue organizations. Litters ‘n Critters has received the Humane Dog Shelter award, the Dog Breed Rescue Award, the Dog Breed Rescue Web Site award and the Top Pet Website Award from Schnauzers~rule.com for excellence in providing underprivileged dogs a much valued resource. And while it isn’t the money Litters ‘n Critters desperately needs to raise the roof of their dream Labrador shelter, Shelley hopes that the attention they receive will pay off in the end, by bringing attention to the dog crisis in Labrador.
As for the animals the two groups help rescue together, “It’s a matter of life and death. They’re all sooooo worth it,” Shelley says.
To adopt one of Litters ‘n Critters rescued dogs or cats, visit their website at www.littersncritters.com or join Litters ‘n Critters on Facebook (All adoptable pets are posted on Facebook prior to being posted on their web site.) www.facebook.com/#!/littersncritters
You can also follow them on Twitter: @litterscritters
For more information on Litters n’ Critters Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA shelter building project, or to make a much needed donation, you can email Litters ‘n Critters at: firstname.lastname@example.org