By Darren Lum
Founder of the not-for-profit Snowflake Meadows Rescue on Ritchie Falls Road, Kristyn Begbie is picking up where the Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association left off by continuing a bottle drive to help with the care of her rescue dogs for the month of June.
Like the HHOA drive in May, the community is being asked to leave their empty bottles and cans by the trailer at the fish hatchery any time of the day. Collections will be organized and taken to a local Beer Store on Saturdays.
Begbie said it’s comforting to know there will be money coming in to cover various expenses – mostly vet bills – at the rescue with how the pandemic has made it impossible to hold conventional fundraising events.
“It’s a huge relief … it lets me know that dogs that need upcoming surgeries [will be covered]. The vet bills you’re looking at for spaying and neutering and [what is required to] bring them up-to-date on shots. You’re looking at least $700 a dog, if not more, depending on what they need,” she said.
She adds seeing the success that the HHOA experienced, with thousands of dollars raised, motivated her to hold her own fundraiser. It helped to have it at the HHOA because it was far more convenient to have it away from her rescue.
Begbie, who works for the HHOA part-time, covering administrative duties, is grateful to her employer for this opportunity.
“They’re super supportive. Especially with other charitable causes,” she said. “Being a not-for-profit, they understand. Especially during these times right now. To make money, funding to support ourselves. I can’t thank them enough.”
Begbie said she regularly works with Empty Ontario Shelters in helping the OSCPCA and Humane Societies all over Ontario in creating a bridge for rescue dogs, who are not able to thrive in a kennel environment or are not doing well because of medical issues to find new homes.
“At my place, my rescue, it’s not a kennel environment. It’s a home environment. So, they have two acres of fenced in yard to run around in. They get children to play with and obsess with. And people are coming and going, so they get exposed to everything before they find their homes,” she said.
The rescue was started in 2018, but Begbie said she’s been involved with caring and helping rescue animals for close to 14 years.
Begbie said helping animals is about giving them a voice.
“So many people give up on their animals and they end up here. A lot of older people don’t have places for them to go. Their family members don’t want the pets after they’ve passed on, so having somewhere for them to go where they can get dental care, vet checks and finding them a new home is … it’s that middle spot, that stepping stone to find them a new place,” she said.
Keep up to date with Snowflake Meadows Rescue through its Facebook and Instagram page. There will be weekly updates.