A kind-hearted Blind Bay resident firmly believes that tough financial times should not separate best friends – especially the ones of the furry variety.
Dale Kerr has always been a pet person. When her last dog passed away, her husband decided it was time to live pet-free for a while to allow for traveling.
Kerr tried her best but discovered she needed a canine companion by her side.
“They are just so loving,” says Kerr, admiring her own dog.
“I don’t think anything should stand in the way of a person and their pet, especially something like money,” she says.
This is the thought that gave Kerr the idea of starting a new type of community resource for families with pets.
A Helping Paw will allow anyone who is in tough financial times to get good quality pet food free of charge.
Kerr explains there are many unfortunate scenarios that may land someone in a situation where they just cannot afford to pay $20 to $50 for a bag of dog or cat food.
Someone who has been recently widowed may find their income cut in half, or a family with health problems may find their resources used up.
These, she says, should not be reasons a family is forced to give up their pet.
“They become part of the family,” says Kerr.
Kerr explains how a dog can help someone who has just lost their partner continue to be social.
“It is easy to get isolated, you won’t go out because you don’t want to be alone, but a dog can help that, it gives you companionship and daily contact.”
A Helping Paw will allow anyone in the Blind Bay, Sorrento, Eagle Bay and White Lake area to get some top-of- the-line dog or cat food.
No personal information will be kept, only documentation of how many people used the resource in a week.
Kerr says residents would be able to utilize the resource whether they need something to hold them over until their next cheque comes through, or if they are regular users.
A Helping Paw is still in the planning stages, but Kerr says she has already lined up a dog and cat food supply with a local pet store. She first wants to know if people in the area could use such a program.
“I can get it up and running no problem, it is just making sure there are people who will use it.”
Kerr is asking residents in the area to simply call her at 250-675-2152 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and voice their opinion.
“I don’t care if they say ‘no, it’s a stupid idea’ or ‘yes, I know someone who could use something like this,’” says Kerr. “I just want to know if this is something the community would like to see happen.”
“I don’t think lack of money should keep anyone from owning a pet,” she says. “They are good for your health.”