Pet network needs votes to win funds to build shelter

Peggy Revell

Dryden’s Second Chance Pet Network is requesting regional help to win much-needed funding to establish a permanent shelter for homeless pets.
The organization is currently in the running to win $100,000 in funding through the “Pepsi Refresh Grant” program—but needs people to go online and vote for their project, explained Michelle Fehr, a volunteer with SCPN.
“We are in desperate need of an animal shelter, because right now we don’t have one,” said Fehr about Dryden and the surrounding area’s need when it comes to surrendered and abandoned animals.
Since first starting back in Feb. 2009, Second Chance Pet Network has been running from it’s current location: a business storefront that’s currently for sale and isn’t owned by the organization.
The non-profit organization is run by volunteers and funded by both donations from the community and an ongoing garage/book sale at the location.
“We [currently] have 60 cats, and every day we are trading away animals,” said Fehr, adding that the current location is often full as they are a no-kill shelter, meaning no animals get put down.
“We have a high adoption rate—since February we have adopted 47 animals, and this is still only our first year—our adoption rate is at about 85 percent,” she said about the work the group has been doing.
“And we have a lot of other things we want to do in the community, like offer humane education, and a low cost spay and neuter program,” added Fehr.
 The organization runs a “Kidz Club” to help teach children about responsible pet ownership, a “trap-neuter-release” program for feral cats, and works to collect pet food that can be given out to families with pets who are currently accessing the Dryden Food Bank.
If the organization wins the $100,000 in the contest, the money will go towards establishing a permanent shelter.
“And if we win the grant, aside from the shelter, [we will] open up a kennel on the same premises so that we are not always asking for the community to help us, that this will be a way for us to support the Second Chance Pet Network,” said Fehr about their plans.
After submitting their application to Pepsi, the organization was approved to participate in the current round of voting that will determined which competing project will receive $100,000.
Supporters—Canadians age 13 and up—can vote once a day, everyday, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.
“And whoever stays in the number one position wins the grant. Currently, right now, we’re #2, but there’s some other animal shelters in there, so we have stiff competition,” said Fehr, adding that they will need everyone’s help to win.
To vote for the SCPN people can visit www.refresheverything.ca/scpnshelter
Links to voting page, and updates, can also be found through the SPCN’s Facebook page “King the Cat”—recognizable by the photo of a black cat wearing a party hat.
For more information about SPCN, visit www.secondchancepetnetwork.ca