Big Sky Ranch was the recipient of two generous donations last Friday, which will help with the high cost of supporting the 120 neglected or abandoned animals at the sanctuary. The first donation came from CIBC Kemptville, where they raised $2,500 through raffles they held throughout January, February and March. Castleview Fine Dining, and Salamanders restaurants each provided gift certificates to be raffled off, and Kemptville Pet Value donated a basket of pet goodies to the cause. Tickets were $5, 3 for $10, or 10 for $20, but branch manager, Stephen Bent, says many people donated a lot more, throwing $50 bills into the jar. “The generosity kept coming and coming,” he says.
Founder of Big Sky Ranch, Andy Parent, is very thankful to CIBC for organizing the raffles to support them. The money will likely go towards vet bills, which are a huge expense for the Ranch at this time of year. “What CIBC has done is great,” he says. “How an organization like CIBC goes out of their way to help the little guy.”
The second donation of the day came from business students at St. Lawrence College in Brockville. As part of their final project, they decided to organize a fundraiser for Big Sky Ranch called Pose for Paws. The event included professional pet family photos, a silent auction, and a pet-friendly bake sale. The students raised a total of $815 for Big Sky Ranch. They also filled a large bin with pet food, treats, shavings, and office supplies to be donated to the Ranch. “We learned business skills, but we got to do it in a way that gave back and was meaningful,” says student Heather Zenchuk.
Andy says they are very thankful for all the support they have received from the community since news broke that they were having trouble heating their barns over the winter. With the harsh weather and extreme cold this year, it cost the Ranch upwards of $1,000 a month to keep the animals warm. Donations also go down over the winter, because they get fewer visitors to the Sanctuary. This is why fundraisers, put on by organizations like CIBC and individuals like the students from St. Lawrence College, are integral to keeping the facility up and running.
Big Sky Ranch is a no-kill sanctuary that welcomes all abused or unwanted domestic animals. Established in 2002, the Ranch has helped close to 3,000 animals achieve a happy and healthy future through its rehabilitation and adoption programs.