Animal shelter named for $200,000 donation 0
The cats and dogs at the Georgian Triangle Humane Society "have it made," according to the volunteer of the year.
Joan Doner was giving tours of the facility, located at 549 Tenth Line, in honour of the shelter's official opening Saturday.
She showed off the "private dining areas" for animals with special food needs; the cat rooms equipped with huge glass windows; the donated tub for dog baths; and the finishing touch on the shelter, the newly completed dog-run. The dog run doesn't replace the dog's walk schedule, Donor says, who volunteers six days a week. The dogs get walked four times daily for at least half an hour.
The shelter is currently home to about 35 cats, three litters of kittens, and one dog. Doner says there has been as many as 90 cats at the shelter at one time; 23 cats were adopted last month, and five dogs were found "forever homes" in the past week.
Doner points out spring is kitten-season as she sung the praises of one cat who has taken on caring for two other litters after nursing her own.
"She's a good foster mummy," said Doner.
"Most people spay or neuter their dogs, but most people don't spay or neuter their cats," said Deb Keep, director of fundraising and dog care, explaining why there are often more cats at the newly named Justin and Eileen Cork Animal Shelter.
After breaking ground in 2007, Keep says the shelter was "built in stages as we raised money."
The cats moved in two years ago, and Keep says a $200,000 donation from Justin Cork's estate helped finish the building.
"We're so proud of this wonderful new facility," said secretary Janice Merrifield.
Administration committee chair Deb Boyd says the shelter started with a 1999 ad in a local newspaper.
"Our dream: here it is; the completed animal shelter," said Boyd, adding it was possible because of the land donation from the Town of Collingwood, the work and collaboration of many volunteers, and the generosity of 1,175 donors.
"How grateful we are for your gracious hearts," said Boyd.
She points to the tremendous efforts of the Humane Society's volunteer-base.
"Without our volunteers we wouldn't be here," said Boyd.
"Every single position is volunteer," said Keep.
Boyd told the story of the couple for whom the shelter has been named, Craigleith-residents Justin and Eileen Cork.
She says Justin became a volunteer after his wife died.
"He proved to be so reliable and conscientious," Boyd said, noting he did whatever was asked of him, whether it be picking up litter, or taking animals to the vet.
When Cork died, he left the shelter his van, condo, and residual estate.
"This allowed us to complete or long-awaited dream," said Boyd.