Sunday, October 5, 2008

A bittersweet goodbye

Submitted by Marcel Marcotte, EARS Eastern Canada Regional Director, of Nova Scotia, Canada

It's the beginning of our last day here in Montreal. The folks from the CSPCA invited us to take part in a thank-you dinner last evening. It was bittersweet for a lot of our volunteers, knowing we made such a tremendous difference to all the animals involved in the two seizures, but still knowing that most of them still didn't have a forever home to go to. I struggled with this in Portland last year and I'm sure I'll have the same feelings today when I get on the plane to go home.

I will take this back to Nova Scotia with me though: We did make a huge difference to the lives of all the dogs rescued. I was completely overwhelmed by the care and compassion each and every one of my “red shirts” displayed to these puppy mill dogs in our care. I cannot tell you how proud I am to be a member of UAN, and to be associated with those who gave up time with their families and pets for these animals.

The UAN volunteers deserve a huge thank you from everyone. Because of our response they are seriously reviewing the puppy mill laws in Quebec. Alanna Divine, the CSPCA shelter president, spoke to us regarding the changes coming that will add additional enforcement powers regarding seized animals and when they are implemented they will make a huge difference in the outcomes for the animals involved.

To my "yellow tape team,” Carol, Tracie, Brenda, Milinda and Leslee thank you so much for taking on the leadership roles you had placed upon you. The way you worked with the animals and volunteers was amazing! To Leslee, who took on the role of Team Leader in the Agility Room, where most of the dogs and volunteers were gathered, you were magnificent, exhibiting patience and grace under fire. Always smiling, even when you were stressed. To all of my other fantastic volunteers, again I want to thank you for coming here to Montreal and making such a big difference to the lives of these animals!

I've been with UAN for less than 18 months and this was my third and fourth puppy mill event, having been to seizures in Parkersburg, West Virginia in August and Portland, Maine last year. Each one has it's own special place in my heart, but simply because of the large turnout of UAN volunteers, this one is my favorite so far. Safe trips home to each of you, and to my American friends, keep the Canadian funny money -- I may be calling for your help again sooner rather than later.

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