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Benji has 72 hours to live! (Posted On: Friday, October 17, 2008)

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It is the case at this present time that our animal control services are soulfully inadequate as it relates to the rescue of your pet when, god forbid, it goes missing, you see a lost, injured or abandoned animal. The following information, which most of you will not be aware of is a must read. This is our region’s quiet secret that should cause immediate concern for anyone who is a resident of our affluent area, both pet owner and non-pet owner alike.

It is a reality that the area served by GBAR (Georgian Bay Animal Rescue) has minimal services and facilities for animal control. GBAR has stepped up to fill this large void in the community.  Presently, the Town of Collingwood rents a facility for dogs and cats. Wasaga Beach, Stayner, Creemore, Thornbury, Meaford and The Town of The Blue Mountains

rely on local veterinary services to provide animal shelter services for a maximum of three days, as required by Law.

In these communities, it is only dogs that are given shelter while felines and other domestic animals are left to fend for themselves. Since presently there is no longer-term care facility available for animals that are not claimed, the veterinary services either destroy the animal, try to adopt it out themselves or contact GBAR to assume the responsibility of finding foster and eventually forever homes for any unwanted animals. 

There are hundreds of abused, abandoned, lost or injured animals in our area that require quality care and shelter every year.  Many of these animals find their way to the Georgian Bay Animal Rescue (GBAR) formerly the Collingwood and District Humane Society, in operation since 1999 without a shelter; only foster homes, and a 24-hour crisis line to care for these animals.  The southern Georgian Bay area is experiencing relatively high population growth. This large geographic area now serves a population of over 100,000 people.  With increased population comes an associated increase in the demand for domestic animal control and housing. Municipalities are experiencing new pressures from residents to effectively deal with lost, stray and abandoned domestic animals (dogs, cats and small animals.  GBAR has grown to protect and care for almost 300 animals in 2007, with all dogs and 168 cats being successfully adopted.  All the services of GBAR are provided by dedicated volunteers. 

Serving 5 Municipalities from Meaford, Town of the Blue Mountains, Collingwood, Clearview Township including Stayner and Creemore, to Wasaga Beach, the goal of the GBAR is to rescue stray, abandoned, neglected, abused, injured and unwanted domestic animals. It also provides support in the rescue of injured wildlife by assisting in their transport to rehabilitation centres.  In addition, the new facility will allow GBAR to provide educational aspects of animal care to the community through volunteer opportunities and visits by schools and civic organizations.

The overall goal of GBAR is to build and operate a modern “No Kill” shelter facility where animals will receive compassionate care and medical treatment, including vaccination and spay/neuter, as needed, prior to adoption.  It strives to place animals in loving forever homes as quickly as possible, by a well documented adoption process and promote responsible pet ownership including spaying and neutering to help alleviate pet overpopulation. 

Effective upon the opening of the new facility, our municipalities will discontinue present animal sheltering arrangements and enter into agreements with GBAR to provide animal shelter services.  The towns will continue to employ animal control personnel to provide regular patrol, call response and pick up services.  Once picked up, animals will be taken to the new facility for sheltering and to receive veterinary care that may be required.  Any stray animals picked up by members of the public may also be brought to the new shelter.  For this service, the towns will reimburse GBAR in accordance with agreements signed by each town. 

Making the dream a reality
Your financial support is needed to complete the first animal shelter within the Georgian Triangle.  Recently renamed 'Georgian Bay Animal Rescue' to more accurately reflect the large area served, this registered charitable organization with its dedicated unpaid volunteers has been able to raise over $600,000 to cover the cost of Phase I of the new shelter building. The shovels broke ground on January 8, 2008, on leased land donated by the Town of Collingwood, on Tenth Line, off Mountain Road, Collingwood.  That phase was recently successfully completed, and now fundraising is underway to complete the Building Campaign.  
 
This shelter will be a place for animals to heal and get a second chance at life in a loving forever home.   It will be a 'NO KILL' facility where animals will receive compassionate care, medical treatment, spay/neutering, and socialization in preparation for adoption.    Being a 'No Kill' organization puts additional stress and pressure on available resources, although GBAR believes it is the right approach to animal care.  Every animal deserves humane treatment in a safe, secure environment.

Kindness to animals builds a better world for us all
Caring for society's needy, homeless animals is a community responsibility.  Your contribution to building a permanent animal shelter in the Georgian Triangle helps to build civic pride in all aspects of community life, and makes our towns, villages and neighbourhoods better places to live, work and play.  Teaching members of our society, particularly its youth, about animal welfare and respecting others (human and animal), promotes the establishment of strong moral and civic values.  Caring for our animals in a humane way makes us all feel proud of where we live. 

Within the heart of every stray lies the singular desire to be loved
NOW is the time for all caring individuals to come forward with their financial support for the completion of the first purpose-built animal shelter within the Georgian Triangle.  What a wonderful legacy for this area to be proud of:  that it has acknowledged the need and helped bring to fruition the reality of a home for all those sadly neglected animals, that through no fault of their own, have found themselves unwanted, unloved, uncared for, and without shelter from the elements.  
 
Support is needed from all the communities served by GBAR:  Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Stayner, Creemore, Clearview Township, Town of Blue Mountains, Thornbury, Clarksburg, Meaford, and surrounding areas.   Only $400,000 is needed to get the shelter up and running, providing care for animals left homeless and alone. The building can be completed within 6 weeks and our abandoned animals can have a shelter in time for the winter.  What a great Holiday gift to them. Please do not let these animals down.  They are counting on your generous, caring heart to get them into their much-needed home. 

Donations of any amount are most welcome, and can be mailed to: GBAR, P.O. Box 492, Collingwood, ON, L9Y 4B2; or visit GBAR online to donate with a credit card.  People can also contribute through the 'Buy a Brick, Lend a Paw' Campaign:  $100 buys a 'brick', with a commemorative plaque.   However people choose to participate, every penny will be used for the sole purpose of completing the shelter building.   Help those that cannot help themselves.
 
The work of GBAR is possible only because of your generous on-going support.  Please help GBAR reach its goal of providing a home for the needy animals of the Georgian Triangle.  For information on animals awaiting adoption, please go to: www.cdhs.petfinder.com.   For further information or to volunteer your time for fundraising, call (705) 445-5204 and leave a message.
 
PLEASE HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN........for “Benji” and the rest of the animals.

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