Chemainus Wildlife Sanctuary founder health issues force merger with Duncan facility – Vancouver Island Free Daily

Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals from Chemainus will merge with A Home For Hooves Farm Sanctuary in Duncan due to the ill health of the founder of RASTA.

Lucie Cerny made the announcement on RASTA’s Facebook page.

“I am deeply saddened to share that I have serious personal health issues that prevent me from continuing in the capacity that I have for so long,” she wrote. “Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have always put animals and their needs before mine and often to the detriment of my own health and well-being which unfortunately materialized into a serious health problem that I can’t go on anymore. ignore.”

A Home for Hooves – led by CEO, Founder and President Michelle Singleton – raises funds to secure a new, larger property and develop it into a world-class facility for animal rescue, advocacy and programs educational.

“I am more than delighted for them and delighted to see Michelle and her dedicated team embark on this monumental undertaking,” said Andrew Hill, COO of sanctuary. “I believe there is no one more qualified or hired than them to take care of this and they have always operated with the utmost integrity and with the highest standards of animal care. I know that I will continue to support them in any way I can, certainly as a volunteer with the organization, and I know that they will need all the help they can to fundraise and immediately develop this new sanctuary, which will open both with the 70 residents of as well as the 100 residents who will move there from RASTA.

Moving all of the animals from the Chemainus Road location and merging the assets with A Home For Hooves Farm Sanctuary is bittersweet for Cerny.

“By combining assets and resources such as lumber, infrastructure, animal supplies, volunteers, etc. of both sanctuaries, we guarantee the sustainability and future of the RASTA animals, those of A Home for Hooves, as well as many other rescues to come. , and not to mention that they will all have about 20 times more space and environmental enrichment to enjoy their lives than they currently have, ”explained Cerny. “For the animals, it’s a huge victory.

“In addition to this huge benefit to the animals, having a much larger property will also allow A Home for Hooves to embark on a variety of sustainable programs and explore various business opportunities to help fund their sanctuary. , and thus further solidify a secure future, financial and otherwise.

A new barn has sprung up on the RASTA site thanks to financial efforts and labor contributions led by actress and animal advocate Pamela Anderson. The money from the sale of the barn will stay with the animals to help secure their future and help A Home for Hooves with operational costs, Cerny said.

The animals will remain at Chemainus until the move, added Hill, and “we will continue to be fully responsible for their care. We have taken all possible measures for their safety and care after they move, including a detailed contract detailing individual care needs, family groups, medical needs, end-of-life plans and any future considerations that have to do with them. been accepted by both shrines and personally guaranteed. by Singleton.

The future of RASTA is uncertain at the moment. Cerny needs time to try to regain her health and hopes when she is well enough to continue to some extent with education, advocacy and new initiatives. She will leave Chemainus once the property is sold and there will likely be a period of inactivity while she recovers, but the intention is that RASTA will continue to defend and protect the animals.

Hill pointed out that after the sale of the Chemainus property where RASTA is currently located, a significant amount of the proceeds from the proceeds of the sanctuary’s improvements and structures – including the barn, shelters and fences – will go to A Home for Hooves to secure operation and emergency funds that will support animals for years to come, as well as physical assets such as a tractor, food, tools and more. The property itself does not belong to the sanctuary.

From the remaining funds, RASTA will cover the transportation costs to ensure a smooth transition for the animals, help with the preparation of the new property and the integration of the residents into their new home.

The RASTA de Cerny organization has been in existence for over 20 years and started in Alberta before moving to Chemainus in 2015.

Cerny has been dedicated to animals and their care seven days a week and 18 hours or more a day from the start.

“I love animals more than anything in the world, which is why I have dedicated my whole life to helping them,” she said.

Cerny is grateful for resolving the stressful situation with her friend Singleton, who shares this common passion.

“I would like to assure everyone that this has by no means been an easy decision for me as I have been struggling with this for quite some time now and it literally feels like it’s tearing me in two. “, explained Cerny. “Animals are my life, my whole life, and this is the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my entire life on this Earth.

“The most important individuals in this situation are the animals and consideration for their future and well-being. That being said, seeing their lives improve dramatically by moving them to a much larger house with real pasture to graze, acres upon acres to roam and potentially even natural ponds and lakes to swim in. gave peace and hope to my aching heart that I desperately need it right now.


Guardian Sierra Mirau takes care of some animals at RASTA Sanctuary in Chemainus. (File photo by Don Bodger)

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