NS Cat Rescue auctions off unwanted gifts for festive feline fundraiser

A visit to Sonya Higgins’ home is a treat for any cat lover.

Higgins runs the Healing Animal SCARS Society, a cat shelter based in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Since 2006, the group has welcomed and cared for more than 2,500 cats for which it relies on donations from the public.

“Even healthy kittens, we spend $550 on them,” Higgins said. “However, we sometimes have sick kittens who are not completely healthy and who require additional diagnostics, tests, examinations and medications.”

Higgins decided to think outside the box for a festive feline fundraiser by collecting unwanted Christmas gifts to auction off.

“Why let something sit there unused,” Higgins said. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Higgins says they’ve used Facebook auctions for several years, but have relied heavily on it to raise funds during the COVID-19 pandemic because they haven’t been able to run fundraisers. funds in person.

Higgins takes photos of the items people donate and lists them on the social media platform.

“We’re creating a photo album on Facebook where people can bid on the item’s photo by indicating how much they’re willing to pay,” Higgins explained. “At the end of the auction, I notify the winning bidders. We try to make it easy for bidders to participate.

Money raised from the items will be used to help cover vet fees, food, supplies and sterilization costs.

Sandra Perraulyou helped raise over $1,100 for the rescue by donating a lighted Christmas tree as well as a brand new clothes dryer.

“You can see what a great person [Sonya] is to save these kitties and cats,” Perrault said. “When you have a few items lying around that you won’t be using, why not try to save some money for her and her rescue group.”

Higgins says they’re grateful for any kind of monetary or in-kind donation, including things like cat food and cleaning supplies.

Higgins says they’ve seen an influx of pet abandonments since the pandemic.

“It’s what I call ‘recycled pandemic pets,'” Higgins said. “These are people who had this cute kitten and now find they don’t have time to spend with the cat, so they’re giving it away.”

Higgins says owning a pet is a multi-year commitment and shouldn’t be made on impulse.

More fundraising information can be found online.