“We’re on an emergency vet run right now,” said Topley’s Turtle Gardens Animal Rescue Society manager Yvette Labatte. “We have a St. Bernard with a broken leg, thank God for the extra funding. His leg is badly broken and needs pins and plates.”
The funding Labatte was referring to is a recently announced $20,000 provincial gaming grant towards its animal shelter program.
The shelter has been operation for 25 years, placing between 225 and 250 dogs every year with caring families.
The funds are already in the Turtle Gardens bank account and being put to work.
“It’s for operating expenses,” Labatte explained. Dog food is donated to the shelter, and Smithers shipping company Bandstra give Turtle Gardens a reduced rate, but expenses still add up for the shelter.
“Veterinary bills are upwards of $50,000 per year,” Labatte said. “It [covers] only part of our operating expenses. We do fund raising galas down south. Most of our donation base is down south.”
The Lakes Animal Friendship Society (LAFS) has been busy this year as well.
“To date this year the Burns Lake Veterinary Clinic has spayed or neutered close to 250 community cats,” said Alistair Schroff, who manages the society with Valerie Ingram.
The community cat project, focussing on feral cats and cat colonies, is a joint effort between the Burns Lake Veterinary Clinic, LAFS, and the B.C SPCA.
The Lakes District Secondary School industrial arts class recently built 30 pre-fab dog houses.