Erin Lynch is honouring the memory of a treasured friend while raising funds for homeless animals.
Lynch, who is the manager of Pet Valu in Truro, told Elsie DeBay she’d raise money for Animal Rescue Coalition (ARC) this year.
“I promised Elsie that last April, the same weekend we lost her, and it’s very important for me to do this and to keep my word,” she said. “Elsie volunteered with ARC so this is a good way to keep her legacy alive; what she stood for and did for the animals.”
Lynch has done a lot of rescue work herself, founding Sympathetic Ear Animal Rescue about 10 years ago, and she worked closely with DeBay in some rescue efforts.
“I miss her so much,” she said, as tears ran down her face. “There wasn’t a week we didn’t talk. Elsie was a mentor.
“She didn’t just try to get animals placed somewhere; she found the best suitable spot for animals she rescued. She knew how to deal with stressed animals and she knew how to deal with people.”
Lynch has been rescuing animals for much of her life and understands the struggles.
“It’s not getting better,” she said. “Things come in waves. It’ll be neglect one year, abuse one year and then abandonment. Animals are seen as disposable, and they’re not.”
She’s gone home to find animals dumped at her house, including a dog tied to her deck, a goat tied to a tree, and a sealed tote full of kitten on her step.
Her family currently includes three dogs, six cats, a ferret, a goat and 20 chickens. She’s also providing temporary care for a few rescued cats
“It’s very important to me, as a manager and a person who’s worked in rescue, to do this fundraising,” she said. “Our goal is $4,000 but I’d love to smash it. I want to make this as big a success as I can. It’s my good-bye to Elsie.”