Celebrating 20 Years!
In late May the NWAS celebrated the 20th anniversary of becoming a registered charity. It has taken a lot of people, hard work, and dedication to get to where we are today. It will also take a lot of hard work and dedicated people to continue to improve and expand our services going forward. To honour the moment, a core group of our people got together to celebrate the anniversary, COVID safe style. You can believe there are big smiles under the masks! After more than a year of largely working in isolation, it was so good to see everyone. These are the people who show up in -30 temperatures in the winter, or in the +38 heat dome in the summer to care for the animals. They scoop the poop and clean the litter boxes, ensure that the animals receive the vetting they require, and ultimately find their forever home. These are the people who we couldn't operate without. I am so grateful to work with these wonderful and caring individuals.
I asked Tara, one of our dedicated people, why she volunteers at the shelter, and has for several years. She was kind enough to write her reasons below.
One common theme in the impromptu celebration was that we need to get together more often. This wish was granted by a wonderful family who celebrated their daughter's birthday by honouring the volunteers of a local charity (this year they chose NWAS). More will be shared about this event later.
Naturally, we could not operate without the support of our local vets - Babine Animal Hospital, Vet to Pet, Bulkley River Veterinarian Services and Dr Paula Wiebe, as well as the caring community of the Bulkley Valley.
In Tara's Words...
Wow, so apparently, I have been a volunteer at the shelter since late 2013? It was pointed out with the disclaimer of “Please do not think about it too hard and run away screaming”. Totally not going to do that…. wait …why am I still doing this? *Thinks too hard* Not marketing or community engagement. Not fostering and bottle feeding one week old kittens. Not the heroic sounding but often genuinely traumatic rescue and retrieval stories. I mean the real unsexy stuff of the day to day running of the shelter. Doing a couple of evening shifts, possibly a vet run as I drive by the shelter on the way to work and a pickup at the New to You of a big bag of donated blankets is a typical week for me.
Nothing romantic or heroic. Nothing inspiring about stories of getting covered in poop at 8pm on a Saturday night. Woof indeed, eh?
So why? This shelter has now been a society for 20 years, with the shelter as you see it today having been around since 2012. I want to show up when it matters so it is here in another 20 years. I want to show up so those who founded this thing that are still doing an unbelievable amount of the heavy lifting do not have to add one more thing to their plates. I want to show up so my friends who are experienced at bottle feeding motherless kittens or creating a safe space in their home for shy cats and dogs to blossom and thrive can do so. I want to show up and ugly-attempt to get a cat in travel crate to take to the vet so the caregivers can do their jobs since I am going to town anyways. I want to show up because maybe this is the evening that indifferent, frustrating dog showers me with love after not engaging with me more than you would a fence post (it was!). I want to show up because just maybe this is the time that scared cat hiding behind their litter pan comes out for a head scratch. I want to show up because I might get to see a young child get picked as their person by another young being. I want to show up because maybe tonight is the day that kennel will be empty where the most wonderful dog was waiting patiently for their new family for months and they have finally gone home since I was here last. I want to show up in case there is a new animal in, having the weirdest day of their short lives and I could just maybe make it a little better.
I want to show up for the wonderful, dedicated team I am proud to be a part of and I miss your faces dearly. I want to show up for the hundreds of cats and dogs I am blessed to meet every year. Congratulations to all of you who make NWAS what it is, 20 years! I will show up with you and for you for years to come. xTara