‘Tis The Season

Fundraising cards, auctions help people and pets.

Shopping for pet-themed holiday cards recently, I found several great options available from the Farley Foundation charity and they send just the right message – Christmas is a time to help the less fortunate. Established by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the Farley Foundation helps disadvantaged pet owners cover expenses if their animals get sick. Since it started in 2002, Farley has handed out more than 1.5 million dollars to help Ontario pets in need.

Many local vet clinics have just wrapped up their Fund-raise for Farley campaigns. At Hillcrest where I work, we brought in $1070 thanks to the generosity of clients. For information about Farley fundraisers including Christmas cards, check out the Farley Foundation’s website. If Farley’s mission isn’t quite your cuppa, there are dozens of other animal welfare groups needing help.

The Quinte Humane Society is the main provider of care to homeless animals in this area, housing upwards of 3,000 abandoned pets every year. Nurturing hopes of building a new facility soon, the QHS is kicking off the Christmas season with a fundraising auction at the Belleville Travelodge December 1st. For information, go to quintehumanesociety.com.

Darlene Quinsey is one of my real-life heroes (mine too! ed.). As head of the local animal welfare organization Fixed Fur Life, Darlene has helped get more than 15,000 pets spayed or neutered. Although the spay/neuter project has been FFL’s main focus, the charity has also found homes for 3,600 dogs and cats. To find out how you can help, visit fixedfurlife.com.

Another welfare group operating in this area, Genesis Dog Rescue, finds homes for abandoned canines of all breeds. The charity has a long list of items they need to help care for the dogs they take in. For information, visit genesisdogrescue.com. While you’re there, have a look at the “about us” page describing the organization and giving a detailed account of how donated money is spent.

This kind of transparency is a credit to Genesis as it gives potential donors some sense of how their contributions will be used. Before making a significant donation to a charity with which you are not familiar, ask to see financial records. This should not be a difficult request to meet. Hillcrest has very close ties to both Fixed Fur Life and Genesis Rescue and we recommend both of them highly to anyone wishing to help local pet charities (ed.).

Charities mentioned above focus mainly on helping individual animals in need. The Pet Trust Fund run by the Ontario Veterinary College finances research that can potentially help all sick animals, not just the homeless or disadvantaged. Many veterinary clinics in Ontario make regular contributions to Pet Trust.

To help dogs helping people, you might consider donating to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program. Representatives of the group appear often at local events to talk about their work. And who hasn’t had the fun of spotting one of their puppies modeling a “Future Dog Guide” jacket at Metro or the mall? Information about Dog Guides is available at dogguides.com.

Dr. Fiona Gilchrist
Hillcrest Animal Hospital – Quinte West/Trenton, Ontario
November 2013