The Fernie On Fire for Pets Fundraiser was a community event put on by the City Of Fernie in collaboration with Fernie Fire Rescue and The Fernie Pets Society.
On the morning of Jan. 9, Fernie Fire Rescue drove around the town, doing a curbside pick up of residents used Christmas trees. Later on in the evening, many residents of Fernie along with many volunteers for the Fernie Pets Society gathered at the Aquatic Centre to watch as Fernie Fire Rescue set ablaze to the giant pile of Christmas trees.
Other activites at the event were tobogganing, street hockey, raffle prizes, music and a BBQ.
All of the funds raised by the event were donated to The Fernie Pets Society to aid in the construction of a fenced off-leash dog park. The proposed location site, which has been endorsed by Fernie City Council, is located in the greenbelt below the Ridgemont subdivision. It is a 12-acre portion of area adjacent to the skateboard park, between 4th Street and 13th Street and the railroad tracks. The facility will be available free of charge to the residents of Fernie and the Elk Valley, as well as visitors to the area. In cities with dog parks, they are among the most used park facilities. Off-leash parks offer many benefits to dogs, their owners and the community as a whole.
The Fernie On Fire For Pets event raised over $2000, and helped to raise community support and awareness for The Fernie Pet Society Off-Leash Dog Park project.
Fernie Pets was started in 2008 by a group of pet owners who were concerned about the number of missing and stray pets in town. A better way was needed to publicize missing pets than posters on hydro poles and in shop windows. The Ferniepets.org website was created to allow people to post notices and photos of lost and found animals. The website also allows people to post adoption notices for pets needing a new home. By 2010, Fernie Pets was publishing lost & found notices on social media sites such as Facebook, which have hundreds of followers who receive up-to-date information on lost and found pets in Fernie and the Elk Valley.
The Fernie Pets Society is strictly volunteer run, and are always looking for volunteers as fosters, to help work and organize different fundraising events and eventually, volunteers to work to help maintain the Off-Leash Dog Park. In addition to the Fernie Pets Society Off-Leash Dog Park project, the Fernie Pets Society also runs a spay and neuter incentive program (SNiP). This program offers free of charge spaying and neutering to any stray or foster feline, and subsidizes costs ($40) for cats owned by lower-income applicants. This is an important program because shelters across the country are full of cats. Having local accessibility to a spay and neuter program is essential to controlling the pet population. Left unfixed one cat and her mate can produce 25 kittens in just one year, and over 9,000 in just 5 years.
The Fernie Pets Society would like to thank the City Of Fernie, Fernie Fire Rescue, all of our volunteers, sponsors and the community of Fernie.