A video has been released thanking one of the ISOasis founders, but she relinquishes the attention, instead directing credit to dozens of others. (Langley Advance files)

A video has been released thanking one of the ISOasis founders, but she relinquishes the attention, instead directing credit to dozens of others. (Langley Advance files)

VIDEO: Single and multiple thanks expressed for impending Langley cat shelter

Ground breaking for a cat isolation facility coincides with LAPS annual wine & cheese fundraiser.

There’s a lot of thanks to go around, when it comes to expressing gratitude to all that made an impending cat isolation shelter at Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove possible.

Singled out, however, has been Tiny Kittens founder and Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) supporter Shelly Roche in a recent video garnering global attention.

The $550,000 facility, nicknamed the ISOasis – a play on isolation oasis – is a purpose-built cat intake, isolation, and recovery facility that will soon be constructed next to the existing LAPS shelter, and will possibly be the first shelter of its kind in the world.

The ground-breaking ceremony in Aldergrove will be held this Friday, June 16, at 6 p.m. – just ahead of LAPS’ annual wine and cheese fundraiser, explained Jayne Nelson, executive director for the animal welfare society.

The project has experienced a few delays in getting to this point, but the final building permit package was submitted to the Township of Langley a few weeks back. Now, depending on timing, they hope to have construction underway in the next four weeks with the facility operational this fall, Nelson explained.

The idea for the facility was born out of staff discussions around an education facility, Nelson said. That turned to discussions about a dedicated isolation space for cats and kittens – a vision shared by many volunteers, including Roche.

“Shelly was a key ISOasis committee member in the early stages of the project,” Nelson confirmed, specifically crediting her for dedicating many hours to creating the presentation of the ISOasis materials for the Township, rallying support online for the project, and nicknaming the facility as an isolation oasis for cats and kittens.

Roche served as a volunteer with LAPS for three years before she turn her full attentions to cats and kittens, and the Tiny Kittens initiative – an organization that has since garnered international attention, followers, and supporters. She had been a foster mom to cats and kittens and an ISOasis committee member – among other duties – with LAPS.

Well, a group calling themselves the TinyKittens Cat Pack, has recently compiled a video tribute to Roche for her contributions to this endeavour. Roche, however, was one of the first to humbly say “thanks” but to shift focus to so many others who were also involved in the cat ISOasis from its inception and early days.

Roche said she was glad to be part of the drive towards making this happen, but turned the spotlight on others, especially the staff and volunteers at LAPS.

“I am so thrilled, grateful, and proud of the team at LAPS for making the time and putting in so much extra effort to make the ISOasis a reality,” Roche shared with the Langley Advance just ahead of this week’s ground breaking.

“It’s one thing to have an idea, but another thing entirely to do the work of transforming that idea into a reality. It is such a testament to how driven they are at LAPS, and how big their hearts are,” she added.

“The ISOasis isn’t something they had to do, they were doing a fantastic job saving animals already. The ISOasis reflects their desire to continually raise the bar for compassionate animal welfare, and it does it in a way that will have a lasting impact on Langley’s cats in need,” Roche elaborated.

As with any project, there have been many supporters since the ISOasis committee was formed in 2014 that are also deserving of recognition and thanks, Nelson confirmed.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from our community — both local and global. So many people have played a role in the design, development, and funding of this project. We wanted to say thank you for helping bring this project from fledgling idea to reality,” Nelson said.

The names and faces have changed a bit since the beginning, but she insisted it is important to acknowledge and thank past and present committee members.

“With your team work, creativity, and contributions we will further impact the health and well being on cats and kittens in our community,” she said.

Roche agreed.

“The ISOasis is also a reflection of how compassionate and caring our community and our mayor and council are – because we wouldn’t be seeing a project like this without their support, and the faith they have in LAPS, and in what the ISOasis represents,” Roche said.

See the Cat Pack video

For those interested, LAPS has put together a virtual tour of the shelter grounds and the new facility that is going to be built this summer.

Initial ISOasis committee:

Sean Baker — executive director, LAPS

Kayla Chapman — Supervisor of animal care, LAPS

Roberto Cesaretti —manager, permit licence & inspection services, Township of Langley

Ian McDonald — partner architect, Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects

Jayne Nelson — executive director and former manager of animal welfare, LAPS

Shelly Roche— volunteer and foster mom, LAPS

Dr. Kathryn Welsman — director, board of directors, LAPS and veterinarian

Current ISOasis committee includes:

Sean Baker — CFO and former executive director, LAPS

Roberto Cesaretti —manager, permit licence & inspection services, Township of Langley

Ian McDonald — partner architect, Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects

Jayne Nelson — executive director and former manager of animal welfare, LAPS

Dr. Kathryn Welsman — director, board of directors, LAPS and veterinarian

Joseph Zacconi — Treasurer, Board of Directors, LAPS and certified builder

The donors:

“Projects like the ISOasis would be only an idea without organizations and individuals making financial contributions,” Nelson noted.

“On behalf of the Langley Animal Protection Society board of directors and staff team thank you. Every donation has brought us to this point. With the completion of our most recent fundraiser, The Mews at ISOasis, we have raised $591,000 to date.”

Providing a list of the major donors, Nelson added: “Thank you for your dedication to the work we do in the Langleys.”

Major Donors, gifts of $20,000 or more

The Township of Langley Pat and Mark Dumont The Shewan Foundation ENM Construction

Major Donors, gifts of $5,000-$10,000

Janet Young, Chris and Arne LaBorde

World Wide Chatters, Louise and David Selby

Catherine and John Windsor, Lafarge Canada

Key Donors, gifts of $500-$5,000

Elizabeth Smith Marianne Rissling

Camille Marinetti Anonymous

Lawrence Ackerman Anonymous

Kim Elchisak Beth Merrill Audra Jones

Lenore Ridell Richarda Meswink

Kim McFarland

Special donors, gifts under $500

For a complete list, check their Wall of Heroes

ISOasis Key Fundraisers

Karen Hunt – 7 races in 7 months for $7K

Lawana Quest – Lawana and Libby Lope for LAPS in 2015 and 2016 to raise $6500

Sue McNellis – Sue rallied our supportive world wide community helped to raise $5,300 Ildi Hards — Ildi, supported by our world wide community created an online campaign to raise $6,000

Pat Bonasera – Pat sold handcrafted items through LAPS’ online community to raise $2,000

“For all of you who shared information about the ISOasis, cheered us on, showed up to fundraisers, volunteered your time, this dream is about to become a reality,” Nelson said. “For all that you do, thank you.”

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