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  • Morgan Weinmeister

Animal sanctuaries we can get behind



As West Islanders leap into their newfound freedom with the transition of most Quebec regions from the Orange zone to Yellow, they are no doubt seeking new and fun ways to explore their cities and give back to their communities.


The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it an elevated need for various non-profit organizations and charities, particularly those serving our wildlife. Sanctuaries and services that were once able to host fundraisers and in-person events suddenly found themselves relying solely on volunteers and public donations. The Coronavirus pandemic created financial insecurity in the vast majority of citizens and businesses which meant donations to non-profits became less fruitful.


In recent years, the morality of traditional zoos has been put into question. That said, West Island News wanted to put together a thoughtful list of rescues and sanctuaries which value animal welfare above all else and which we know you'll feel good about supporting. Although the list consists primarily of sanctuaries that are not generally open to the public, we made sure to include a few options for you and your family to enjoy this summer.



Sauvetage Animal Rescue


You may remember this name due to their strong involvement with the West Island bear who made its way across Pointe-Claire and Dorval some weeks ago. The rescue was present and diligent throughout the entirety of the intervention and kept the wellbeing and safety of the bear as their utmost priority. That’s why when news surfaced that the bear had been tragically euthanized, Sauvetage Animal Rescue – like the rest of us – were horrified.


“Sauvetage Animal Rescue's mission is to help animals in distress. They deploy human and material resources to carry out relief and rescue missions.” As a member, you not only contribute to the obtainment of better equipment for the rescue, as well as allow rescue operations to be carried out for animals without families, but you also gain access to an exclusive emergency phone line which gives you access to 24/7 animal assistance.


To learn more and become a member, click HERE.



SAFE


Located in Mansonville Potton, Quebec, SAFE sanctuary came to exist in 2016 when the founder, Catherine, bought the piece of land where the sanctuary sits today. She had always had a love and passion for animals, but became especially motivated after attending conferences and reading the book “My Gentle Barn” by Ellie Lakes, which highlights the author’s experience “creating a sanctuary where animals heal and children learn to hope.”

image courtesy of unsplash

SAFE caters to a wide variety of farm animals including cows, ponies, and pigs. Although the sanctuary is not open to the public, SAFE is constantly recruiting volunteers. The sanctuary also offers the option to sponsor a farm animal, which comes with special privileges including a private visit with the animal you choose to foster.


To volunteer with SAFE, click HERE.

To sponsor a farm animal with SAFE, click HERE.



Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre


Located just off the island of Montreal in Hudson, Quebec, Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre aims to rehabilitate wild birds and re-integrate them into their natural habitat.


The center, which does not charge for any bird care or rehabilitation services relies primarily on donations, fundraisers, and volunteers to make everything possible. Le Nichoir even offers educational programs for classes or groups of children aiming to teach them about birds and their surrounding environments.


Over 2000 birds are admitted annually to Le Nichoir, and over 14,000 emails and phone calls are received and tended to.


To donate and learn more, visit https://lenichoir.org/



Zoo Ecomuseum


image courtesy of wix.com

Located in the heart of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, the zoological park highlights species native to Quebec exclusively. Featuring everything from mammals, to birds, to fish and amphibians, the Ecomuseum is guaranteed to have something for every member of your family.


The park houses animals who had previously been orphaned, rehabilitated, born in captivity, or who for some other reason cannot be released into the wild. The Ecomuseum is a zoo you can feel good visiting. Founded on values of environmental education, wildlife conservation, and animal well-being Ecomuseum creates a welcoming, educational and safe space for all who visit.


To learn more, visit https://zooecomuseum.ca/