Today is Giving Tuesday. A day to reflect and give back after all the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Today, we should have woken up excited for what the day would bring. Instead, we woke up sad, confused, and above all – heartbroken.
Last night, two individuals broke into our building and stole our rescue van and other valuable items essential to our life-saving capacity. If you know anything about our work, you know this van was more than just a van. It was a rescue tool, a mobile lifeline that has carried hundreds of animals to safety, to security, and to the start of something new.
It was recently there at Toronto’s airport, waiting for a tiny puppy with a broken leg and a senior dog with medical complications. It was there to rescue a cat who, having been hit by a car, had lost the use of her legs, and was sadly found being attacked by birds.
It has delivered pet food to families in need and carried lifesaving resources (such as food and medical supplies) to our partners. It has carried sick and injured animals to the ICU room and brought others back from overcrowded hoarding conditions to the loving care of our medical and behaviour experts.
From community events like Paws in the Park to rescue trips in Buffalo, New York, this van has always been there for us. And now it’s gone.
A loss this size would hurt anyone. But for a charity which relies on people’s goodwill and generosity, the loss is significant. Our safe-living capacity has been cut short and we are left wondering how we’ll respond to the next emergency, the next animal in desperate need.
We have spent the last hours reviewing security footage and speaking with the police, watching angrily over-and-over as these two men drive off with the van. And while we work with law enforcement to get to the bottom of this appalling crime, we must move forward. We must be ready for the next animal.
Asking for your help now feels strange as our emotions are running high. But the need has never been more urgent. We are left with no other option but to ask you to help us replace the van as soon as possible and cover the cost of the rental vehicle we will need to obtain in the meantime.
The urgency for this cannot be overstated. There are animals right now who, having had surgery, were scheduled for a pickup. There are other animals who need the van as well, including a large dog waiting for orthopedic surgery. This overnight theft has left our team scrambling to find alternative methods to move these at-risk animals to where they need to be.
Today, on Giving Tuesday, we normally come to you with stories of success and how your contributions make a difference. Unfortunately, this Giving Tuesday we come to you at a loss, sad and heartbroken. But we also come to you with no small amount of hope. You, our community, have stuck with us before. You have carried us through every challenge, every curveball. We ask you now to please consider giving back today so more animals can be rescued tomorrow.
Please help us fund the purchase of a new rescue van and replace the other lifesaving items that were taken from us.
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