After spending many years getting to know our rescue partners and the animals they help, we came to the realization that several organizations had what we call “sanctuary animals,” in their care. Sanctuary animals have special needs and may not be eligible to move to adoption unless the right adopter is found. Many of these animals have come from less than honorable pasts, may have terminal illnesses, medical complications or behavioural challenges.
One such sanctuary animal was a French Bulldog named Smurf. Smurf came into care with Animal Care & Control Centre - Edmonton through a seizure and was subsequently transferred to the Edmonton Humane Society. Smurf, however, had medical issues and it was determined she suffered from mega-esophagus. She was transferred into care with Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART) where she eventually found her way to our dear friend, Tanya Laughren.
Tanya lovingly cared for and fostered Smurf for three years. In that time, Smurf stole the hearts of everyone who had the pleasure of getting to know her. She was a fixture at Animal Care & Control Centre - Edmonton and always loved hanging out with the staff and her foster momma. When the day was done, she would go home and crash.
In 2018, our Foundation conceived an idea of a fundraising program that would honour a rescue sanctuary animal in a care and, in consultation with HART, the Foundation decided that Smurf would be the recipient of the funds raised during this inaugural campaign.
While we were preparing to launch the first ever Journey’s End fundraiser, Smurf’s journey ended, sadly, on October 10, 2018, before the campaign was officially launched. That year’s campaign continued in honour Smurf’s memory. To date, Journey’s End auctions have raised, in total, nearly $12,000 and provided aid to eight different rescue animals.
The process starts with an application period for rescues to apply to be chosen to be recipients of the Journey's End auction proceeds. The online auction, of generously donated items follows and runs on our special Facebook group – Berkeley’s Place Online Auction.
Before each campaign, the Board of Directors determines how many rescues will be supported. Once the application period closes, the Board members review all the applications received and shortlist rescues. An email is then sent to each shortlisted rescue with a list of questions or to request further information and following the review of the responses submitted, the final rescue(s) are finalized.
The stories of the animals chosen to receive support from that campaign will then be shared on our social media outlets and our website.
We do all of this because we believe that an animal’s Journey’s End should be as comfortable, compassionate and stress-free as possible.