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It’s all about community: Thank you!

By Eyal Lichtmann

Published 2:11 PDT, Fri July 19, 2019

The Regional Animal Protection Society staff and volunteers marched in the Steveston Salmon Festival Parade on Canada Day, a tradition we have participated in for years. It is so heartening to see the enthusiasm and feel the love coming from people all along the parade route.

The Regional Animal Protection Society staff and volunteers marched in the Steveston Salmon Festival Parade on Canada Day, a tradition we have participated in for years. It is so heartening to see the enthusiasm and feel the love coming from people all along the parade route.

So often, people would shout “Thanks RAPS!” and “Keep up the good work.” I appreciate those words and I revel in them, of course. But as I thought about it, I felt something wasn’t right. The people of Richmond shouldn’t be thanking RAPS. We should be thanking you!

Everything RAPS does is possible because we have the support of animal-loving people in the community.

For example: Tiberius came to us as part of a colony of five cats who were humanely trapped by another rescue organization that doesn’t have the capacity to house animals long-term. Four of the five have feline AIDS and the RAPS Cat Sanctuary has special housing for these special cats—and years of expertise keeping them well. In so many other jurisdictions, these cats would have been euthanized. Because of your support, RAPS will care for these animals for the rest of their lives.

Another example: Hero came to the City of Richmond Shelter after a resident found the cat caught in a leg-hold trap presumably meant for raccoons (which is terrible in itself, but imagine if a child had accidently triggered the trap and lost a foot). Astonishingly, these brutal contraptions are still legal in B.C. Hero went to the RAPS Animal Hospital, where part of one of his legs had to be amputated. As we have seen with so many animals, their resilience is remarkable and Hero gets along fine on three legs. RAPS not only provides direct, individualized medical care to animals like Hero…we also advocate with governments and the public on issues like the humane treatment of animals. We can do this only because of your kind generosity.

One of my favourite examples: Jolie, a Staffordshire terrier mix, spent five years at the RAPS Richmond Animal Shelter until she was adopted. RAPS will never euthanize a dog simply due to lack of space. In another jurisdiction, she would almost certainly have been euthanized. The RAPS no-kill promise meant that we kept Jolie and gave her the best life possible until she met the very special person who adopted her and could accommodate Jolie’s quirks, which included severe anxiety and fear of strangers. Her new mother worked with Jolie devotedly and now she is a star in her neighbourhood, greeting passersby and soaking up the love. We can only keep our no-kill promise because people like you stand with us to save and improve the lives of animals.

These are just three of thousands of happy endings made possible by your generosity. For almost 25 years, RAPS has depended on you to empower everything we do. Thank you!

Since last year, we have been incredibly fortunate to have the RAPS Animal Hospital. This has allowed us to exponentially expand the work we do with animals and their people across British Columbia. Not only have we slashed external veterinary bills by hundreds of thousands of dollars, the revenue generated from services to the public (that means you!) are reinvested into every area of RAPS programs and services, allowing us to help thousands more animals each year. This amazing development was made possible only because of the generous support of people in the community, including our extraordinary corporate partners like Applewood Nissan. By choosing the RAPS Animal Hospital, you are getting quality vet care you need while helping less fortunate animals. Thank you!

More than this, in the past 14 months of the hospital’s operations, we provided over $500,000 in full or partially subsidized care for animals in households with low incomes and others who needed assistance, including unclaimed animals hit by cars needing emergency medical surgeries to save their lives. This year, we hope to top

$1 million in subsidized care, making us one of the largest animal healthcare organizations in the region. Imagine what this means in the lives of animals and their people.

So many people give whatever time or financial resources they can afford to make it possible for RAPS to do what we do. And it all comes down to one shared mission: Saving and improving the lives of animals.

We were deeply touched by the words of gratitude we heard along the parade route. But I want to turn the thanks around. If I could hold a parade to thank everyone who supports RAPS, it would be an epic lovefest.

Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for your donated time and financial support. And thank you for helping us save and improve the lives of Tiberius, Hero, Jolie and thousands of others. As we say “Animals need RAPS…RAPS needs YOU!”

Eyal Lichtmann is CEO and Executive Director of the Regional Animal Protection Society.

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