Friday, 08 March 2013 13:59

Brooks Animal Protection Society in dire need of operating funds

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Beethoven is looking for a new home. He currently resides at the Brooks Animal Protection Society’s shelter. Beethoven is looking for a new home. He currently resides at the Brooks Animal Protection Society’s shelter. Photo submitted

The Brooks Animal Protection Society (BAPS) is in desperate need of funding to pay for its operating expenses for the next few months.

An aggressive fundraising campaign has been launched in light of the fact the society needs a cash injection of $8,000 just to continue to operate until mid-March.
“BAPS usually operates at a loss of about $3,000 per month. That’s how it’s been for our particular not-for-profit,” explains Sandra Henry, the shelter manager.
About 55 per cent of the society’s income is generated by fundraising, grants and fund development. Due to expenses, the society’s savings account has been depleted.
Officials are hoping to receive an Alberta government Community Spirit Grant, which they get annually, but not until June.
It costs the shelter about $18,000 a month just to operate. It can house 45 cats and about a dozen dogs. Unfortunately the stray cat population doubled in the shelter, as last summer and fall the shelter was housing about 90 cats. The extra mouths to feed, plus other costs associated with caring for the animals, depleted the society’s saving’s quickly. An adoption blitz in December of last year helped the situation somewhat. The shelter is no-kill, meaning every animal lives there until it finds a new home, but on average about 95 animals are being housed and every animal costs $7 per day.
“Our cats are what we unfortunately lose money on,” adds Henry.
The shelter used to charge quite a bit to adopt a cat, but the cost is now only $70 because the priority is to find the animals loving homes. That adoption fee doesn’t cover the costs of deworming, vaccination and spaying or neutering the cats.
The shelter receives funding from the City of Brooks, which Henry says is very generous. Money is also received from the County of Newell.
Part of the expenses is paying for wages. The society employs eight part-time staff and three full-time people. It’s necessary to do so to help keep the shelter clean and the animals safe and healthy.
“We immediately need $8,000 to carry us through to the middle of March,” says Henry.
So far the community of Brooks has stepped up to the challenge and been generous. Usually closed on Thursdays, Henry had the shelter’s doors open instead to accept donations from residents. She is also working to come up with new fund development ideas — ones that can be sustainable for years to come.
One such program now available is sponsor a kennel. Individuals can sponsor a cat kennel for six months ($180), one year ($300) or three years ($750) or a dog kennel for six months ($300), one year ($500) or three years ($1,250). Those who do so will have a plaque on the door of the kennel which can promote a business or be in memory of a loved one.
“We just implemented that in November and we’re getting some response,” says Henry. “It helps with our operating expenses.”
BAPS is willing to accept any monetary donations. Those for $20 or more can be issued a receipt for tax purposes. Those donations can be made online through Paypal at:, mailed to PO Box 86, Brooks, AB, T1R 1B2 or dropped off in person at the shelter at 415 1st Avenue East.
Businesses can also come up with their own unique fundraisers and have the money raised benefit BAPS.
“We’ve been overwhelmed the last two days with community support,” added Henry, speaking with the Prairie Post last week. “I’ve only lived here for two years, but we’re so blessed to be living in this community.”
Henry hopes that generosity continues to help the society through this most-recent rough patch.
“We are a necessity in the community,” she explains. “We cover the County of Newell too and that’s a big area. The animals have to have somewhere to go.”
Henry knows BAPS has to become a more economically-sustainable organization and she’s working towards that as she presents various ideas to the board for approval. The shelter, which is seven years old, requires major maintenance and that means more money is needed.
Henry is proud of the work BAPS is doing and says residents are welcome to visit the shelter and see the good work for themselves.
“Our most important message is to remind people to spay and neuter their animals and please adopt,” adds Henry. “We are a no-kill shelter and (even though we have a lot of them), our cats are not suffering. They have a big open room to play in. This is a not a sad place, it’s a great place to come and give love to animals.”

Read 5436 times Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2013 14:02
Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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