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2017 President's Message

This Foundation exists because of networking – networking with people who are passionate about animals, people who believe in the work we do. I could not do this without my friends and partners. I would like to say how very grateful I am for the tremendous work done by all the volunteers, sponsors, donors and Board of Directors, past and present, who are kind and caring individuals who truly want to make a difference in the lives of the animals.

I am very excited to announce that we have seen many positive changes within the organization in 2017. We have added some new faces to the Board of Directors, who bring forth some very valuable education and experience, along with fresh ideas to take us to our goals. These dedicated members have a large amount of compassion for our furry and feathered friends, and will be a great asset as we all, as a team, work towards our long-term vision.

We focus on putting donor dollars towards programs that have a direct impact on the animal’s lives. This means ensuring compassionate care is provided for the animals and making sure they are healthy and comfortable while waiting for their forever family.

We are about teamwork. To help our community’s animals, it takes working together with shelter staff, rescue partners, volunteers, and other members of our community. This means breaking down stigmas that surround outreach communities, encouraging productive conversations around animal issues, and networking to give every animal a chance.

Our organization is one that needs to continue to innovate and be transparent and are committed to building a strong and open line of communication around our operations, goals, and impact. We want you to feel confident that our interests are aligned and we are being responsible stewards with your generous gifts.

What does your share of a post on our page mean? What about your donation, or your sponsorship or adoption of an at risk animal?

It means that one more cat doesn't die, cold and alone. It means one more animal is vaccinated and doesn't contract a preventable illness. It means that one more dog or cat is altered, which will ultimately save thousands of lives. It means that a sick cat can receive lifesaving medical care, and a small kitten isn't left in a box on the side of the road to fend for itself. It means an old dog whose owner passed away doesn't meet a premature euthanasia. It means a challenging animal who requires more time to find the perfect home receives that time, and gets the care and attention it needs to be a better pet for when it's forever home comes along. It makes space for the next desperate soul that comes along in need of a safe place.

Your actions make a difference. Your shares save lives. Your donations shape futures, and you choosing to adopt is priceless.

This spring I wrote a proposal to the Honourable Mayor Don Iveson. I outlined the work that our rescues did during the Fort McMurray evacuation. I spoke about how the economy impacted people being able to care for their companion animals and how when it came time to sacrifice something, the animal was usually deemed to be an expense that one could no longer afford. I cited the many examples of hoarding situations such as Milk River and how rescues stepped up and found placements for these vulnerable lives. I spoke of how emotionally, physically and mentally draining rescue is, and how often we are left feeling unappreciated and undervalued. Mayor Don Iveson has recognized the sacrifices made by the men and women on the front lines of rescue and declared September 15 as 'Animal Rescuer's Day'.

If I had one thing to say to my younger self it would be this – never let yourself be defined by your work, by your family or by people in your life. Find your passion and live it well. Great things come from small endeavors.

One voice can make a difference. As we close off this year, and enter into 2018, I want to thank you all for being a part of this journey with us. We are humbled and honored to have you partner with us and to be a part of a movement. We hope our journey will ignite your passion.

We look forward to continued adventures with you. On behalf of the Board of Directors of Berkeley’s Place, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Lillian Courtney, President

Berkeley’s Place Foundation

December 2017