• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Animatch carries on after major relocation


PHOTO COURTESY ANIMATCH

Thanks to the donations from the public, the new facilities for Animatch dog adoption services are almost complete.

Operations are almost back to normal at Animatch Dog Adoption services since the shelter had to relocate from Les Cèdres to Pointe-Fortune last summer. Since Animatch founder Hélène Lacroix found out her shelter for dogs was being evicted to make room for Les Cèdres’ new municipal garage, she and her team of devoted volunteers had to overcome a number of difficult challenges to keep the facilities alive and protect their charges.

While finding a location that fit their needs would have seemed the most difficult challenge to overcome, raising the $200,000 needed to upgrade and prepare the installations once an appropriate building was found proved to be even more daunting.

But Lacroix and her team did it. The required $200,000 was raised in less than a year with all donations coming from the public. Such an amount being raised in so short a time is almost unheard of in the case of a countryside animal shelter.

“It’s pretty impressive when you think of it,” Lacroix says. “All through private donations. There were no big donations from companies.”

Lacroix and her team of volunteers did not waste any time. Animatch hit the ground running the moment they arrived in Pointe-Fortune. Despite the extensive amount of work and upgrades needed, Animatch was mostly operational at its new location by mid-July of last year. Dog rescuing does not take a break, and winter was fast approaching.

Work proceeded through fall and winter but more upgrades are still needed.

“The building is coming along,” Lacroix says. “The walls are up. The insulation is up. Ventilation is in. We’ll be starting on the interior of the facilities, the drywall and everything.”

Lacroix and her team have been busy. Cement was poured in, electrical wiring was completed. The camera and fire monitoring systems were installed. “I figured the protection of the dogs is number one,” Lacroix says. “So even if we can’t finish some things because of money, we can still do the main things.”

PHOTO COURTESY ANIMATCH

With most of the interior work done, the major project remaining is building the kennels for the larger dogs.

Several local businesses also helped with supplies, hardware, and services.

“Gentek helped with doors, windows, and siding. The construction company is really helping us out too – so did Matériaux Pont Masson and Home Dépôt. We’re getting a lot of help,” Lacroix adds. That is over and above the $200,000 that was raised from public donations.

Lacroix credits her team of volunteers for much of the success of the relocation and fundraising. “My volunteers worked hard to get people to help. Because we can’t do it for free. We could have found an old barn, but my dogs deserved better.

“We’re very anxious to get it going,” Lacroix said in closing. “It’s all coming together. If there are things that can’t be finished now, it will come in time.”

The next challenge will be building the kennels for the larger dogs. The kennels will require stainless steel, which is very expensive. In the meantime, it’s still business as usual. Dogs need to be saved, sheltered and rehomed. If you are interested in adopting a dog or in helping Animatch, you can visit their website at animatch.ca.

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