Whistler Animals Galore is looking to the community for about $40,000 to create and fence off an outdoor area for dogs to run after losing its current space to the nearby expansion of the adjacent Nesters and its recycling depot.
Catherine Mazza, marketing events and co-ordinator for WAG, said another area is available for the animals, but they need a solid fence in order for dogs to feel secure and safe so they don't bark or become stressed by any activity next door.
WAG is looking for community support to fund the new area and fence, which could be completed by the end of November, otherwise the project will be on hold until spring.
"If that happens, we won't have any outdoor area all winter," said Mazza, who added that WAG is applying for several grants but nothing is guaranteed.
"It's not ideal for us but we're trying to go with it," said Mazza, who added that future projects include funding for area landscaping, and construction of a jungle-gym for dogs.
"At the end of the day we need about $35,000 plus taxes," she said. "The plan is to have the dog-run constructed by winter.
In an email, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) said: "WAG was included in the stakeholder discussion when the new Nesters recycling depot was in the initial planning stages in early 2015. The new dog-run area will be approximately the same size, but a different shape than the existing dog-run area." The RMOW will work with WAG on the construction of the dog-run.
WAG board member and councillor Jen Ford said: "We're very hopeful we can get the funding. We're sensitive to the fact that people love WAG and love the work that WAG does."
The timeframe is short within which to secure the funding, and Ford said WAG realizes that money is tough for everyone "especially at this time of year."
Mazza said the pressure to fundraise is great but is also a stress for staff, who just went through a recent and disturbing break-in and property damage by an owner trying to get access to their dog that was sheltered temporarily at WAG.
WAG will be open as an adoption centre and educational resource only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week, from 1 to 4 p.m. The drop-In volunteer program will be placed on hold as WAG focuses on recruiting trained shelter volunteers and increasing the number of foster homes.
An upcoming fundraiser is scheduled for Oct. 15: The annual K9 Wine and Dine event has 100 per cent of proceeds benefitting WAG. Anyone wishing to donate or purchase tickets can find information at whistlerwag.com.
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