2018 President's Message
In 2018, our Foundation gave assistance to 41 rescues plus 2 pet food banks operating within Edmonton and surrounding communities. 282 pick ups of supplies were recorded to date!! This Foundation however is not about numbers or competition with other rescue support agencies, but rather about making a difference in the life of an at risk animal and hopefully somewhere along the line, making a difference to the community in general.
Our focus this year was education and we partnered with Alberta Pet Education Society (APES) to discuss canine enrichment, disease control, force free training and building relationships with our First Nation communities.
Part of our growth and learning involved joining the Alberta Force Free Alliance, promoting force free science based training that doesn’t involve using adverse training appliances.
In May, we hosted our first public Pet Honoring Ceremony. Attendees enjoyed hearing from our friends at Faithful Friends Pet Memorial as well as Shandra xxxx who spoke about grief. It was a powerful and emotional time spent together remembering our companions that crossed the Rainbow Bridge and sharing our journey with others who were hurting. Lunch was served and it was an incredibly healing time for all participants.
Our Emergency Fund provided assistance to 6 families who had been displaced by house fires with their companion animals. We provided the basics from snout to tail, ensuring that companion animals received new bowls, collars/leashes, toys, beds, treats and food.
Our community liaison contacted us about a small puppy that had been surrendered from one of the First Nation communities he worked with in Saskatchewan. This little pup was surrendered with her mom and siblings, but she required more care. We reached out to our friends at APES and within 24 hours an emergency foster was found. When the pup came into our joint care, it was immediately noted the urgency of the medical care she required. This little pup had a big prolapse – in essence, her insides were hanging outside.
We rushed her to Terwillegar Veterinary Clinic where Dr. Debi Zimmerman cleared her afternoon clients to give our girl emergency surgery. Because of the nature of her injury, the clinic offered to foster her, and good thing they did. Two days later Willow prolapsed again and a second surgery was undertaken to remove part of the damaged tissue. Willow quickly stole hearts and made the rounds being fostered by vet techs at the clinic. Willow found her forever home with an amazing family and we continue to receive updates about her progress.
Our special guests this year at our 00Strays and Kitty Galore James Bond themed gala were Animal Care and Control Center Edmonton (ACCC). It was an intimate evening spent getting to know our by-law officers and exploring the role ACCC plays in our City. We broke down some misinformation and stigma surrounding the dreaded “pound” and learned more about how ACCC is working with rescues to help save our overflowing feline population.
Even though we are based in Edmonton, Alberta, we believe in strong communities and helping our fellow rescue partners achieve their goals. We were introduced to Constable Matt from the Inuvik Dog Pound, 3,215 kilometers (1,998 miles) and 43 hours of solid driving away.
In an effort to save lives and have dogs find their forever homes, Inuvik will fly dogs to Edmonton for placement with our partnered rescues. Over our monthly coffee date with APES, it was casually mentioned that there are no beds in the kennels. What? No beds? Dogs may be in care for several months before a placement is found, and during this time they have only a concrete floor to sleep on? This left me with sleepless nights and we had to do something about it.
Getting supplies to the Northwest Territories is difficult because transport in winter months is made using ice road truckers. An ice road is a winter road, or part thereof, that runs on a naturally frozen water surface (a river, a lake or an expanse of sea ice) in cold regions. During the summer months supplies are flown in on small planes. As you can well imagine, getting the necessities is a challenge, never mind the luxuries. We commissioned a supporter and friend named Cathy Hudson, who built us 12 “kuranda” style beds. To that we added kennels, enrichment toys, chewy bones, biscuits, peanut butter, cheese whiz, Frisbees, feeding bowls, water dishes and more and we expect Santa’s truck to arrive before the year is out.
Berkeley’s Place has what we call “Ambassador Animals”. These are sanctuary or long-term fostered animals in care that serve to educate and who have become a part of the Berkeley’s Family through sponsorship to help the rescue caring for them offset the cost of care. One such Ambassador was a Frenchie named Smurf. Smurf was brought into care under a seizure warrant with our friends at Animal Care and Control and was subsequently transferred into care with Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART) when she was diagnosed with Mega-Esophagus. Smurf taught us so much and was a driving force at many events. Sadly, after 3 years in care, Smurf crossed the Rainbow Bridge in October of this year.
To honor her memory, Journey’s End was launched. In December we hosted an online auction in Smurf’s memory and raised $3,000 for HART – funding that would go to help Smurf’s long-term foster friends Connie and Odie.
Journey’s End auctions will be held two times in the year and rescues will be encouraged to apply to showcase not only a long-term/forever foster/sanctuary animal in care, but proceeds from the auction will be donated in supplies or applied to the veterinary account to help ease some of the cost of care.
As we close out 2018, on behalf of the volunteers and executive of Berkeley’s Place, we want to express our sincerest gratitude, because without your support, none of this would be possible. Thank you for believing in us, for trusting us, and for being Earth Angels for the Animals.
Remember, one change in one mind, can change everything.
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?
Lillian Courtney, President
Berkeley’s Place Foundation
ACC at the Gala