Group hopes to help animals without homes survive the holidays
With too many animals to care for, a shortage in food and funds and hefty veterinarian bills to cover, a local animal welfare group is looking for a bit of extra help from the public this holiday season.
Bailey is a young, stray, impounded dog. Heavenly Creatures is trying to find the female dog a foster home before it’s too late. — Submitted photo
According to Jessica Rendell, Heavenly Creatures’ president, the group has handled a higher-than-usual number of animals in 2013.
“It seems like every time we turn around, there’s another homeless cat or dog who is in desperate need of help,” she said.
Heavenly Creatures’ annual Christmas Pet Food and Donation Drive started last Monday, but had not received much attention as of this past weekend.
Heavenly Creatures was looking after approximately 120 cats as of Saturday, with 20 to 30 of those animals in the process of being adopted. It also has 20 dogs and a waiting list for animals it hopes to be able to provide care for within the next week.
As for veterinarian bills, the group owes $20,000.
“We’ve already spent over $100,000 on medical bills this year,” said Rendell. “A lot of the animals we take in are from the streets and from pounds, and they often come to us injured or, at the very least, they haven’t had a lot of medical care done.”
The increased need for the group’s services has also affected its food supply. According to Rendell, Heavenly Creatures was down to three boxes of tinned cat food by the end of Friday. That supply did increase over the weekend, but Rendell said the organization is still looking for more wet cat food.
Heavenly Creatures is also looking for foster parents to help look after animals without a home. Many of the people who regularly assist the organization with that task will be away from home during the holidays.
“There are some animals that are already in foster care and need new places, but there’s also animals that are on the street and in pounds that will be destroyed before Christmas if we can’t take them,” said Rendell. “We’re begging people to open their homes to these animals so their lives can be spared before Christmas.”
Those looking to provide any sort of donation can stop by Heavenly Creatures’ St. John’s office at 3 Cashin Ave. Its hours of operation between now and Dec. 22 are outlined at www.heavenlycreatures.ca.
Those looking to help directly with veterinarian bills can make donations through two local clinics — Sunrise Animal Hospital in Mount Pearl and St. John’s Veterinary Hospital.