In Northern BC there is one shelter, and only one shelter, to meet the physical, emotional and medical needs of the many homeless dogs in that area. Its name is Turtle Gardens and it is a registered charity. Friends of Turtle Gardens are about to launch a fundraising initiative – a raffle with awesome prizes – for a very important cause: the purchase of vehicle to facilitate the transport of dogs and supplies.
I have been struggling for several days now with how to impress upon readers the important work this shelter does and the urgency of supporting this initiative. I have decided to begin by quoting a recent letter:
Turtle Gardens Animal Rescue began on April 8, 1988 as a no-kill facility to address the real need for a safe haven for unwanted animals. There were no shelters of any kind for 250 miles – from Prince George to Terrace – 17 First nation Communities and 11 Villages and Towns. Twenty years later Turtle Gardens still stands alone. Since inception, they have adopted out over 4000 dogs; placing an average of 250 dogs per year.
Turtle Gardens began like any other shelter - with kennels. It has evolved to become a Group Foster Home and Rehabilitation Centre and, along the way, has undergone extensive renovations to ensure the comfort and safety of the dogs. Three generations of Labatte family members call Turtle Gardens their home, sharing their lives with the dogs so they will learn to be FAMILY companions.
Specializing in stray or feral dogs, many are first and second generation strays – they have never been in a building let alone a home. Turtle Gardens helps to heal their "inner puppy" and develop relationships of mutual respect with plenty of TLC. Positive reinforcement is used to help the dogs understand about learning so they can adapt to city life where doggie social skills are vital. Ninety percent of the dogs are adopted to more populated parts of BC, as there are not enough families in northern BC to accommodate the number of dogs passing through Turtle Gardens. All of the dogs are vet checked, vaccinated, wormed, and spayed or neutered. Turtle Gardens continues its renovations extending to build an adoption /training/internship/education centre and to upgrade the necessary fencing.
Realizing that the flow of homeless dogs is not slowing, Turtle Gardens has instituted a Low Cost Spay Neuter Voucher Program and has all four veterinary clinics in the local area participating. Turtle Gardens rounds out their busy repertoire by doing extensive outreach programs in schools, in hopes that the importance of spaying and neutering is impressed upon the next generation. In one day alone in the fall of 2007, Turtle Gardens took in 47 emaciated dogs from a desperate and despondent situation.
A committed group of friends and supporters of Turtle Gardens have come together to raise funds in support of these efforts. Turtle Gardens relies on donated supplies, such as hundreds of pounds of dog food, to come from the lower mainland. And in return, Turtle Gardens delivers the precious cargo of soon-to-be-loved pets to the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. To meet the growing demands of pet lovers and homeless dogs, Turtle Gardens needs to have a larger, more reliable shipment vehicle. So we are raising funds to go toward the purchase of this new vehicle.
Through the generosity of many businesses and individuals, supporters of Turtle Gardens have gathered 30 prizes worth a total of nearly $6500. Tickets will go on sale in the next week or so, and the draw day is Aug 30th.
So what can you win?
How about an all-inclusive trip for two to Puerto Vallarta (transportation from Vancouver, accommodation at the Canto Del Sol Resort, meals and taxes) for seven days? Thanks to Chris and Tomoko of www.escapes.ca for providing this grand prize.
And then Daphne at Butchart Gardens has put together a wonderful prize of a weekend in Victoria, BC with transport via Harbor Air from Vancouver, and accommodation at the Executive House hotel plus vouchers for Butchart Gardens, Imax Theatre, Royal BC Museum and more.
Then there is a package of $500 worth of gas cards, followed by a $500 Home Depot card, followed by an assortment of gift cards, a pet portrait by Deb Strong who did that great portrait of my Caleb, and tons of other things. The complete list of prizes can be found in the sidebar on the Turtle Gardens website
Tickets are $5 each, 3 for $10, or a book of 25 for $75 (why not get together with friends, family, or coworkers and buy a whole book???)
The raffle has been approved by the BC Gaming Commission. In compliance with the regulations governing raffles, please note that:
Ticket purchasers must be 19 years of age or older. Chances are one in 185 to win a prize. Actual odds depend on number of tickets sold. Problem Gambling Help Line, call 1-888-795-6111 or log onto www.bcresponsiblegambling.ca. Know your limit, play within it. BC Gaming Event number 8775.
Purchase and sale of raffle tickets via the internet is not permitted by the Criminal Code of Canada (Section 9.3, page 14 of the BC Gaming Procedure Handbook) so, unfortunately, payment cannot be accepted online via Visa or PayPal. However, internet web sites may be used to receive orders to purchase tickets, and so you can email me for tickets at this account: animalsinrescue at hotmail.com (just substitute the word “at” with the @ sign). I will announce additional venues for ticket purchases as soon as they are available.
Please support this very worthy cause and treat yourself to the chance to win some really great prizes.