Pet Friends turns two

Penny Sidor

Pet Friends

Wednesday, October 14 2020

It’s birthday number two for Pet Friends Gabriola. Pet Friends, a local community partnership, has collected nearly $22,000 since its inception in October of 2018, with a perpetual bottle drive and cash donations. The organization has distributed roughly $20,000 on behalf of animals, and is going strong. 

Pet Friends assists dogs, cats and other pets with vet bills, food, flea control and necessary gear, and is as generous as the bank account will allow. 

“It’s a wonderful journey,” says Penny Sidor, founder and facilitator. “There is tremendous community support. People donate generously, both cash and returnables. A mighty crew of volunteers has come along and they are invaluable – they sort, count, bag and box thousands of cans and bottles, weekly.” 

“People have taken enormous loads to the recycling depot in Nanaimo for us. We had two teenagers, MacKenzie and Cahleigh Adair, who helped crush and bag some huge water bottles, and then counted all the change we’d collected in donation jars – $180 worth. They were wonderful. Pet Friends has exceeded our expectations, and it wouldn’t work without volunteers.” 

‘We have provided care from flea meds, to dentals, to cancer treatments. Flying Fur and Salty Dog have helped with groomings. 

Raven Feeds has donated bags of food. 

Heart Healthy Pet Treats, my dog’s favourite, gave us a corner of their market table last summer, so we could speak with people and collect donations. 

Twin Cedars Veterinary Clinic is a joy to work with. They kindly organized a pay-what-you-can rabies clinic last year, and gave us the proceeds. That was pretty sweet.” 

Carol Hemrich was the first co-signatory on the community partnership account and helped get things rolling. When she stepped aside, Lisa Millard came on board. 

After Lisa left, Janice Wilson stepped up. 

“All three have been fantastic partners, and each has made a significant contribution to Pet Friends,” says Sidor. 

“I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to our volunteers Janice Wilson, Robin Kelley, Olivia Rae, Judy Dunbar, Alex Langran, Eric Howland, Suzanne Christopher, and Brad and Katie. There are others, but they are too shy to have their name in the paper.” 

“And a big thanks and virtual hugs to all the donors – you are too numerous to mention, but we love ya!”