Greetings from AARF, and our best wishes for a happy new year!
This year has been very busy! We saw 1,040 postings through our website to date. This compares to 673 postings last year, which is a significant increase! Of those postings, 616 were lost postings, and 424 were found. Our lost and found postings were seen 1,188,484 times and were shared 14,563 times.
Two high profile searches we participated in late this year were for Tinto in Nanoose Bay, and for Louie around the Kennedy River Rest stop on the way to Tofino/Ucluelet. These were challenging searches in different conditions as they were both over large geographical areas. The Louie search was particularly challenging because for most of the search area, communications was non existent, although we were able to leverage HAM radio in some spots.
This year we acquired a Tru Trap Maxie Deluxe 60D, which is the second largest trap in their product line. We have stationed it in Errington, and have it as a resource for any organization that might need it.
We continue to expand our work with other like minded organizations, and continue to work on the basis of mutual support. If we have something, be it a skill or resource, we are only too happy to assist and provide what we can.
It’s been our experience that organizations are stronger when they support each other which relates to more effective help for animals. Continuing to build and grow relationships with other similar organizations is something we will grow in the new year.
On the education front, we have made continual progress on that. AARF was chosen by a sixth grade student in Errington as the focus of a class project on non-profit organizations. We were able to provide insight as to what we do and provided fun informational packages to each student in the class.
This year AARF was chosen to be the non-profit supported by the All Decked Out craft fair in Parksville. This wonderful occasion enabled us to distribute educational information, raise awareness as well as fundraise for more equipment, search tools, educational material and operating costs. We deeply appreciate being chosen for this amazing event.
In 2017 we will also be working with another group to provide them some training on lost pet search techniques, and also some community education. We will also be working on providing educational materials at the Coombs Country Fair and are looking for more events to contribute to.
In the new year, we are looking to acquire a couple of FLIR devices to assist in searches, a collapsible trap system (the 60D is very large!), build on our networking with other organizations, and get an official educational program started.
Children love to learn, and we love to teach them about good animal stewardship! We will also be working on our website, with a focus on making it easier to find postings with a search tool and filters.
We are currently looking to fill the role of volunteer co-ordinator. This key role is needed to help us connect with volunteers, evaluate their skills and interests, and provide an introduction to the organization. If you are interested in this position or would like to help in other ways such as monitoring posts, communicating with folks who submit reports, helping with social media, attending events, searching, helping to educate and more, please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new year looks to be shaping up to be as exciting as the last one, and we are looking forward to the many terrific things to come!