When it comes to rescuing farm animals and helping at-risk children, Keryn Denroche doesn’t kid around.
But the founder of Semiahmoo Animal League Inc. says the roots of a new initiative aimed at raising money to fund vet care is all about kids – a pair of baby goats named Barney and Clyde, to be exact.
The youngsters came to SALI – located on property in rural South Surrey – this fall. Clyde arrived after police found him in the back seat of a stolen car, and Barney, after animal control officers found him wandering the streets in Langley.
While its unknown if the two are related, their similarities are uncanny, Denroche said.
They’re close to the same age, look identical and have had the same health issue – urinary calculi, a painful condition similar to kidney stones that can lead to death within 24 hours if left untreated.
“Everything’s unknown about them, but when they came to SALI’s farm, both of them were quite small,” Denroche told Peace Arch News Wednesday.
So far, treating the goats has cost SALI around $1,000.
Running the entire program – which brings at-risk children to the farm once a week for eight weeks for horticultural and animal-assisted activities, to foster empathy – costs about $5,000 per month.
Denroche said it was the cost of the goats’ care that inspired a fundraising initiative launched this month that enables people to register to make a monthly donation.
Done through Canada Helps, those interested can sign up for regular contributions – a minimum of $3 – through their credit card, Interac or PayPal, for around what Denroche believes many people spend on a cup of coffee every day.
“We thought, how can we make it really easy for people to give, and help us?” Denroche said. “$5 a month, that wouldn’t affect their pocketbook as much (as a one-time payment).”
It’s hoped the program will add “a significant amount” to funds SALI relies on; the donations will be directed to vet care.
Once the bills for Barney and Clyde are covered, “then we can look at adding some more therapy animals to our program,” Denroche added.
Currently, the SALI family includes two horses, two cats, eight bunnies, two goats and Louise the chicken.