A chameleon is among the hundreds of creatures in the care of the Urban Safari Rescue Society. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey exotic-animal rescue society at ‘critical point’

Officials with Urban Safari Rescue Society say dwindling funds will run out mid-August

Pandemic-related restrictions are slowly lifting in B.C., but officials with a South Surrey rescue society that has some 350 animals in its care say the organization’s survival remains at risk.

“We’re getting to a critical point now,” Sharon Doucette, executive director Urban Safari Rescue Society, said Friday (June 12).

“We haven’t had… the same levels of revenues for months now. We’ve adapted in so many ways but we still need help.”

Located at 1395 176 St., the society has historically relied on funds raised through conducting presentations to schools, daycares and seniors homes, as well as at festivals and other events, to generate the revenue needed to house, feed and care for the animals it shelters.

In response to COVID-19 – which forced the layoff of five staff – in an effort to fill some of the gap left by being unable to offer those presentations, they began offering interactive online sessions in April, asking those who sign up to donate in return.

READ MORE: Urban Safari Rescue Society starts online video presentations

The one-hour sessions showcased a range of the animals in their care, from arachnids to reptiles to small mammals – including some of the more exotic, fragile creatures that are never taken to schools or festivals.

Treasurer Kathy Lucier said such efforts, along with fresh-food donations from grocery stores that had to clear stock, helped “in the beginning.”

“But that’s all dwindled.”

The society needs between $13,000 and $14,000 per month to operate, Lucier said. Even with the government’s wage-subsidy program and temporary relief from BC Hydro, they’re still short $7,000 to $8,000 of that.

If nothing changes, she estimates the society has enough to keep operating until around mid-August. After that, “we don’t want to have to make those decisions, but we have to face reality here.”

The facility reopened its doors to the public this week. For more information or to donate, call 604-531-1100 or email info@urbansafari.ca



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Rooftop hatchlings ‘a nice addition’ to White Rock RCMP operations

Pair of seagull chicks hatched in ‘fenced playground’ on July 2

‘Justice for Mona’ rally planned for Surrey

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

COVID-19: ‘Contactless’ donation drive in Surrey to help women in need

Items needed for women in shelters, transition houses in the Lower Mainland

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read

l -->