Ladybird Animal Sanctuary
Submission Story |
I have worked with Ladybird Animal Sanctuary since 2011 as both a co-founder and volunteer and have seen this charity change the lives of countless people and animals. As a rescue operation whose mandate is to save the lives of animals from high-kill shelters, Ladybird has saved over 900 animals from euthanasia from around the golden horseshoe and found them loving forever homes. Ladybird could not do this work without the vital support of our foster homes, donors, members, sponsors, volunteers and supporters. Our community is what makes Ladybird grow and thrive.
We are the Ladybirds – Lisa Winn, Melissa McClelland and Janine Stoll; best friends who have spent over a decade sharing in each other’s music. Through recording as the Ladybird Sideshow Project, touring Canada or simply singing three part harmonies in each other’s living rooms over a bottle of wine, our collective passion for music has always been the glue to our friendship. As our music careers veered in different directions over the years, our friendship held strong and our shared ‘other’ passion for animal welfare eventually helped us conceive of Ladybird Animal Sanctuary, bonding the three of us even closer.
A Cat Named Oliver
It all started with a cat named Oliver who had been abandoned at a local shelter in 2010. After spending a year in a cage, and some time not being able to shake what seemed like a cold, he was diagnosed with feline leukemia. In some shelters, this is a death sentence, even though FeLV cats can live long, healthy lives, despite the diagnosis. Oliver was snuggly, affectionate, full of life and certainly not deserving of death just because of his diagnoses. Ladybird co-founder Lisa brought him home and spent months trying to find him a suitable home, as she already had her share of rescue animals. It was sweet Oliver who sparked our idea for Ladybird Animal Sanctuary.
With one foster home, one rescue cat, a website design from our extraordinary web genius Janine and some serious word of mouth, we watched Ladybird grow from one simple idea to a registered Canadian charity with a system of 30 plus volunteer foster homes, and hundreds of domestic animals rescued from high-kill shelters. Each animal eventually adopted out to a loving forever home, or becoming “Permanent Resident” when they are not suitable for adoption.
Thinking BIG for the Future
We’re very proud of the impact we’ve made as a rescue and foster network, but our longterm goals are much bigger! We are working hard towards our dream of opening a physical sanctuary in the Southern Ontario region. This will be a safe haven for animals, where we can continue with our rescue/foster team, an we can also house permanent resident animals; like seniors, hospice cases, FIV, FeLV and feral cats, and farm animals. This will also be a place for our Ladybird community to gather and grow. We will welcome anyone who is willing to help, learn, engage and celebrate the lives of these wonderful creatures.
As three women with full-time jobs and Ladybird volunteers, we find ourselves as the co-founders of a fully functioning charity. There are steep learning curves at every turn, but we are up for the challenge because there is an important task at hand. With every success story, every rescue mission, every grateful furry little face, we know we are doing our jobs as animal defenders.
We could not, and cannot possibly do this alone, so please join us on our Ladybird journey!
All 4 winning charities will be announced on our 108th Birthday, May 10th 2018!