Staff and volunteers at Critter Care Wildlife Rescue Society are feeling thankful for a community of supporters who, within one week, have raised the $5,000 needed to buy a rescue truck.
“It’s just amazing,” said Critter Care animal care supervisor Dawn Johnston, who set up the Gofundme page last week.
“We are totally blown away by the support of everyone.”
Critter Care is regularly called out to deal with wildlife emergencies all over lower B.C.
But one of the two trucks they use to go to those rescues was involved in an accident and the vehicle has since been written-off. The loss of wheels has severely hampered the rescue group’s ability to help animals in distress.
The crash happened last week, when a Critter Care member was driving to pick up a raccoon with a trap on its foot. On the way, a cat darted out in front of the truck and the driver swerved into a ditch to avoid hitting the fast feline.
She was uninjured, but the older truck has been written off and the replacement funds won’t meet what they paid for it. The front axle and frame were both damaged in the collision. The non-profit group bought that truck just last November.
“Without a truck, we are severely hampered in our ability to respond to emergencies, complete releases and run daily errands needed to keep the centre functioning,” said Johnston.
Critter Care founder Gail Martin said the truck was used daily to pick up food for the animals, to rescue injured animals and to transport animals to the vet or to release them.
“We have done probably $200,000 worth of rebuilding this year, so buying another truck was not in the budget,” said Martin.
One of the times the truck was used recently was to go to Mission to rescue the three beavers trapped in oil. Critter Care helped those beavers and two of them, now named Exxon on Mobil, are thriving at the centre. One of the beavers died because of the damage caused by the oil.
Last week, Johnston created the Gofundme page to raise funds for a new rescue truck.
“I moved my life halfway across the globe, from Scotland to Canada, because I believe in everything Critter Care has achieved and the difference it has and continues to make,” Johnston said.
“We rescue everything from squirrels and raccoons to river otters and black bear cubs, many of which are in need of help as a direct result of human conflict.”
A GoFundme campaign has been started “in the hopes of raising the funds necessary to get us back up and functioning.”
As of Monday morning, all $5,000 had been raised, with one woman donating $830, noting that Critter Care is a worthy cause.
Johnston said she is leaving the campaign open for a little while longer with all the money going directly to help the animals they rescue and care for.
It’s been an incredibly busy year for care. Sadly, the raccoon they rescued from the leg trap was so badly injured it didn’t make it, she said.
“We have seen an increase in traps being put out this year. We aren’t sure why,” said Johnston.
You can also donate directly to Critter Care through their web page.
Or people can pledge to join their Walk On the Wildside fundraiser at Campbell Valley Park on Oct. 1. The day includes a barbecue, prizes and lots of other fun. Bringing your four-legged family members is encouraged — on leash, of course.