Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Paws and Claws, a non-profit charity based in International Falls, Minnesota, is expanding into Fort Frances.
Before the borders closed, animals found on the Canadian side were transported to International Falls where they received treatment and foster families, until they got adopted.
However, with the border shut, Paws and Claws has not been able to transport animals to International Falls for treatment. This has left animals in limbo, often cold and unsafe.
Joan Foley is a board member at Paws and Claws.
She said they do not have a physical place out of which they operate, but they opened a Canadian bank account in order for them to accept donations and pay Canadian bills.
“It is not a shelter,” Foley said. “We need people to foster animals. We need people to step up and become fosters so that we can get animals off the street and get them medical help if they need. We do not have animals put down unless there is no life that is going to be good for them.”
With the money donated, they can help rescue pets, take them to the vet and find a new home for them.
“When the borders closed, we could not do that anymore,” Foley said. “We had no way of helping any of our animals. We got a bank account open on our side so we can get Canadian donations so we can pay bills if the animals in [Fort Frances] need food.”
Foley said she usually gets emails and phone calls asking if she can help animals. However, she said she is not always able to respond to these calls when she is under financial constraints to treat and relocate animals.
“We are trying to take care of our animals over here. We are hopeful that our town and surrounding area will help support this even after the border opens. If it’s doing well, we will continue to do it. If not, when the border opens, we will go back to taking the animals to International Falls.”
If you have more questions on how to make a donation, you email Foley at firstname.lastname@example.org, message her on Facebook or send the cheque to her home address 305 Fifth St. West, P9A 3S1.
Foley said she is able to provide receipts for the donations received.
“We want to help animals and not see them suffer. We are not affiliated with any other rescue, but we work closely with them. All of they money raised and donated pays for the medical expenses, food and supplies to sustain [animals’] lives.”