A $5 donation that came 11,368 kilometres â€“ from Auckland, New Zealand â€“ to Aldergrove, is indicative of the widespread kindness that will make a one-of-a-kind cat shelter in Langley possible.
Last year, Langley Animal Protection Society announced its hopes to build a $550,000 cat oasis â€“ a separate building dedicated to intake, treatment, and care of cats in preparation for adoption to forever homes. It would provide an isolation space that will help LAPS care for sick cats, in particular, without exposing others up for adoption.
At an annual Heroes wine and cheese event Friday at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter, 142 people learned that the dream of this feline facility â€“ or at least the fundraising for such digs â€“ has almost been achieved, explained LAPS executive director Sean Baker.
â€œWeâ€™re still looking for a few thousand, but weâ€™re really close,â€ he said.
In large part, he credited Shelly Roche â€“ who put LAPS on an international forum a few years ago when she introduced the Tiny Kittens project through Facebook.
â€œOur most exciting project yet is on the cusp of becoming a reality,â€ Baker added.
â€œWith Shellyâ€™s never-say-never attitude, this pipe dream is soon coming true,â€ he said, thanking her for helping persuading municipal council to contribute 40 per cent of the cost. Baker said the remaining 60 per cent has almost been realized through the international outreach made by Roche and her team.
â€œWhile that was all happening, 336 unique donors, including many in this room, on three continents, from six countries, including six Canadian provinces, and 29 U.S. states came forward to contribute most of the remaining 60 per cent,â€ Baker said.
â€œWe are currently deep in the design phase of the oasis and hope to be building sometime in the fall,â€ he added, vowing the LAPS staff and volunteers wonâ€™t take a break until the facility is a reality â€“ if then.
â€œDonâ€™t worry, we will keep you updated on Facebook â€“ guaranteed,â€ he added with a bit of a chuckle.