Dear Santa:

We hope this letter finds you, Mrs. Claus, all the elves, and – of course – the reindeer all doing well and that you’re getting rested up for your big night.

This is our first time sending a letter to you but after another challenging year, we thought we needed some Santa magic. We think we have been pretty good this past year. We’ve rescued many dozens of animals and have found loving forever homes for a lot of them. We’ve funded behavioural training when needed, paid for veterinary care including some major surgeries, helped during the St. Mary’s fire, have performed an extensive TNR campaign throughout the region to help control the feral cat population – and more.

As we’re sure you know, Santa, a lot goes into running an animal rescue. The most important part, of course, is the actual rescue work and protecting animals from dangerous situations, including ones that may involve cruelty or abuse. On top of this, we have also seen a sharp increase in the number of animals needing to be rehomed for a vast array of reasons. This is why we are here – we exist to help animals.

Aside from the actual animal rescue work, though, there are many moving parts to running a rescue. We’re sure your workshop up in the North Pole is similar. Lots going on all at once and without all your elves, it would descend into chaos. Well Santa, we have been experiencing some chaos of our own. We need elves to help with the rescue of animals, elves to foster animals, fundraising elves, event elves, bottle collection elves, social media elves, website elves. So many elves! Of course, the elves live in the North Pole with you, so we can’t benefit from their help here in the East Kootenay. This brings us to why we’re writing to you, Santa. You see, we have a wish list. It’s not a big list but it is a very important one. We hope you’ll be able to fit some of these much-needed gifts in your sleigh for us this year.

1. Volunteers. Santa, our rescue is operated entirely by volunteers, including the Board, and boy are we grateful for the volunteers we have. So grateful, in fact, that we don’t want to burn them out. Most of our volunteers – and our Board – work full-time jobs in addition to the work they do for the rescue. This means a whole lot of work is being done by a small number of volunteers, in a limited amount time, in between work, family, and other commitments. Would you believe one of our members leads the cat team (even when she IS the cat team), collects recyclables, leads the TNR (trap, neuter, return) campaigns in the region, is at most fundraising events, monitors social media, and more – all while also working a full-time job? So, if you could manage to stuff our stockings with volunteers who wish to work directly with animals, including with TNRs; love event planning, social media, or fundraising; are willing to collect recyclables; respond to messages from our community members; deliver items, bake for our bake sales, or just about anything else, we would be so grateful.

2. Fosters. We have been in the heartbreaking situation of having to turn away animals in need or individuals needing to find a new home for their pet simply because we don’t have anywhere for them to go. Don’t get us wrong, our current fosters are amazing human beings, but they can only take on so many animals themselves. We don’t want to have to turn animals or pet owners away, Santa, but since we don’t have a building of our own, we really need more individuals willing to foster. Do you think your elves could help with finding some people who aren’t able to adopt right now but would love to have an animal or two around the home on a shorter-term basis? Or some current animal owners who would like to help with taking in some additional animals? We promise we will supply everything they need, cover any medical or other costs for the animals, etc. All we need is a warm loving home for some animals in need until they find their forever homes.

3. A temporary space. Our primary Cranbrook bottle team member is retiring this month. We are going to be so lost without him, he’s been such an amazing help. We’re having a tough time recruiting anyone else to take on his role, in part because it requires sorting bottles, cans, and milk containers on a property just outside of town in an unheated tent. That’s a hard sell in the winter. If your elves were able to create an approximately 800 square foot heated space that we could use for free or for a low rent over the winter months – or find us one that already exists – it would really be a lifesaver. Donations of bottles, cans, and milk containers is a major source of our funding, and we will be in trouble in a short time if we can’t find a new volunteer or volunteers and a warm space for them to work.

Those are our big asks this year Santa. We know you get a ton of requests at this time of year so we’re very sorry to add to your burden. We wouldn’t have reached out if we weren’t desperate. And of course, we also always need adopters and donors, but we don’t want to get too greedy. If you’re able to fulfill these three requests, our rescue will be in a much better position going into 2024.

We thank you for taking the time to read our letter. Regardless of whether you can help or not, we will continue to work hard to care for animals in need for as long as we can.

Take good care of yourself and Mrs. Claus and give those reindeer a few extra carrots.

Love,

The Meant 2B Loved Pet Rescue Society Team

P.S. Maybe next year we can begin discussing a more permanent building? 😉