BY BILL PHILLIPS
When Angela McLaren of the Prince George Humane Society approached Austin Kim of the PG Return It Centre for a possible donation, Kim had already allocated his budget and couldn’t make a donation.
So when he took up the 600 Lap Challenge and was offered a donation of a $1 a lap to give to the charity of his choice, Kim didn’t hesitate and sent the $600 he raised straight to the Humane Society. On Monday, John Brink of the Brink Group of Companies, who sponsored Kim and five other athletes in the challenge, made good on that pledge and delivered a cheque to McLaren.
“It means the world to us to have the support and continue to do the great work that we do,” said McLaren of the $600 donation.
The Prince George Humane Society is funded 100 per cent through donations, so every little bit helps and is also crucial to the ongoing work of helping animals and educating the public.
The Humane Society, which is coming up on its third anniversary, sees about 700 animals per year, most of those are cats and dogs. The volume of animals means that the organization is starting to outgrow its facility just off First Avenue.
“The reality is we’re in a space that we’ve outgrown,” said McLaren. “Our dream, and our long term plan is to look at potentially going to a bigger facility but that means a whole lot of changes for us and a whole lot of a bigger commitment for us as an organization. But everything starts off as a dream.”
Ideally, McLaren says, they would need about 4,000 square feet, which is about double what they have now. While the organization is dreaming, and planning, of making that move, the hard work helping animals every day continues. And, as much as it relies on donations of cash and materials, it relies on volunteers as well.
“There’s a lot of ways you can get involved such as volunteering and fostering,” he said.
Fostering involving taking in an animal for a short period of time while the animal gets ready for its ‘forever’ home.
“Fostering is the lifeline of our organization,” said McLaren. “Most of our animals are place in foster care so we can get to know them in home environment so we can best place them in a forever home.”
The Humane Society is also, of course, always looking for people to adopt animals and currently has a waiting list of people wanting to adopt.
The society also does a lot of humane education programs such as kids camps, birthday parties, and shelter tours where kids learn about responsible pet ownership. Eeyore, the resident bunny rabbit, helps with all those programs.
McLaren is very grateful to the community for the support it has received over the past three years.
“The community doesn’t always understand the impact they’ve had on our organization,” she said. “The impact they’ve had is on the animals in our care. Without people opening up their doors, and their hearts, and their pockets, we’re not able to do what we do in this community.”
For Brink, who owns two dogs, three cats, and eight horses, seeing his donation go to the Humane Society is a thrill.
“It’s so important what they do here,” he said. “We just want to make sure that they know throughout the year we’re doing our part to help them.”