The existing barn at RASTA Sanctuary is in need of a replacement. (Cole Schisler photo)

The existing barn at RASTA Sanctuary is in need of a replacement. (Cole Schisler photo)

Pamela Anderson pledges to help build barn for Vancouver Island farm animal rescue

RASTA Sanctuary in Chemainus B.C. thought a new barn was out of reach until Pamela Anderson arrived

Lucie Cerny has been operating Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals — a sanctuary for farm animals retired from the agricultural industry — for the past 20 years. In all that time, she never imagined she’d meet Ladysmith’s most famous resident, Pamela Anderson.

“It was an absolute honour, one truly beyond words to have the opportunity to host Ms. Anderson, her partner and their young son at our humble little Sanctuary here in Chemainus,” Cerny said in a Facebook post.

Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

Anderson said she was moved by the work that Cerny is doing at RASTA.

“I was delighted and impressed by the peacefulness, happiness of the animals living in communities — not separated like a lot of sanctuaries have,” she said.

RELATED: Pamela Anderson returns home to enjoy ‘peace and solitude’ of Ladysmith

“It says so much about Lucie and her small group of dedicated volunteers. These are rescued vulnerable farm animals. Saved from slaughterhouses and other cruel terrible lives. It’s a mini heaven. It is emotional to be there. I look around and I can feel the effort put in to the design of the property. What’s gone into making the animals feel safe and loved. Lucie is an angel.”

Cerny gave Anderson a tour of the property, and after introducing Anderson the various animals at RASTA, pointed out the aging barn that RASTA has been working to replace.

The barn lacks a foundation and is sinking into the earth. It also lacks a proper roof. RASTA has fundraised for the last two years, and managed to raise $100,000 for a new barn. A previous builder had given a quote of $150,000, but after a lengthy mill strike and the pandemic, the new quote soared to $450,000.

“That completely utterly gutted us,” Cerny said.

RASTA was further gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the sanctuary to cancel their farm tours — a major source of funding for the charity.

Outside of farm tours, one of the main fundraisers for RASTA has been sales of a farm calendar. Cerny had hoped that Anderson would sign one of the RASTA 20th anniversary calendars, but Anderson blew Cerny away when she offered to help replace the aging barn.

“I get goosebumps. I get kind of choked up honestly,” Cerny said. “To have somebody of that incredible status to take an interest in what RASTA is and what RASTA has been doing, it was such a tremendous honour to have that validation from someone I look up to so much.”

A few hours later, Anderson returned with her partner Dan Hayhurst — a local builder with DHS Homes. Hayhurst happily agreed to take on the project.

RELATED: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

“I was happy and even surprised when Dan told her he’d do it. Now, He is obsessed. He’s making calls everyday. Organizing/reviewing plans etc,” Anderson said. “I love it. I love to turn people on to charity. To do things from the heart and for no other reason. It’s what makes life worthwhile.”

The couple has pledged to do the entire project for a budget of $100,000. Hayhurst has set about finding materials for discounted prices, and has drawn together a talented team to help with the project.

“It’s amazed me how generous this community of people are — all you have to do is ask. Gifts of materials for the build are tax deductible. Services are not. I’m happy to help out free of charge. I’m not expecting anything out of this, but a few happy, healthy animals,” he said.

Hayhurst said that in a few short months, Cerny will have a brand new barn.

Once completed, the barn will house rescued birds, hay, feed, and will act as a quarantine space for new arrivals to RASTA. As it stands now, Cerny keeps the hay in her carport, the feed in her basement, and has a quarantine space in her home for new arrivals.

RASTA Sanctuary is still in need of donations to cover the costs of care for their animals. RASTA is a registered Canadian charity, any donations to RASTA are tax deductible.

For their part, Anderson and Hayhurst said that they are on the hunt for other opportunities to give back to the community.

RELATED: Very Good Butchers team up with Pamela Anderson Foundation to support plant-based eating

“We’re looking forward to doing other helpful projects in town,” Hayhurst said. “Pamela always has her eyes peeled. Not sure what I got myself into, but I love it.”

Pamela Anderson and her partner Dan Hayhurst say they're looking to do more community projects in the future. (Submitted photo)
Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

The current state of the Royal Hotel. (Photo Contributed by Richard Leeks)
‘No one is willing to step up to take any responsibility’: Royal owners plow on with renovictions

Heat, kitchen appliances, doors, running water and WiFi have been allegedly removed

RDEK reminds public to register for their emergency notification system. File photo.
RDEK reminds residents to register for East Kootenay Evacuation Notification System

Provincial Alert system cannot be used for local emergencies

City of Fernie city hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
City of Fernie: New orders a challenge, but community is supportive

Mayor Qualizza said that the new public health orders were an opportunity to safeguard the winter season

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Most Read