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VPN News and Events

VPN Rides in Rodeo Parade

Click on images to enlarge.

Sat. August 20, 2011 -- Our first time in the parade and we did it in style, with a 1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk, loaned (nervously!) by Harold Whittingham of Brandon. Thanks Harold, we took good care of your baby!

Thanks to Christine Hearn for decorating and driving, Cole and Dallas for being our banner carriers, Lumpy and Honey Bear for behaving well and being cute.

Summer Volunteer: Thanks Megan!
Megan Thoreson is studying geology in Saskatoon but she was working for an oil company in Virden over the summer and found herself with some free evenings to fill. So she kindly offered to help us with the animals and spent many hours socializing stray cats and playing with the kittens. Even on the hottest evenings, she'd come by after work to put in a shift.

Thanks Megan for giving your time to the pets at VPN. Anyone interested in volunteering, please call us 748-6677.

Summer 2011 Chinese Auction: Chopper Ride & Other Prizes
June 18th, 2011 -- Virden Pet Network held its annual fundraising chinese auction at the Valleyview Co-Op store in Virden June 17 and 18th. In spite of the rain on Friday and the arena grand opening competing with us on Saturday, there was a steady flow of supporters who came by to purchase tickets. Thank you to all of you. Every last penny raised will go towards the animals' health care.

Congratulations to the winner of our grand prize, a helicopter ride for 2: Ken Clarke of Virden. Special thanks to our prize donors: Fontana's Trucking, the Mutt Hutt, Virden Animal Hospital, Hand It To Me day spa, and Christine Hearn.

Cat Missing for 1Ĺ Years Reunited With Family!

Spring 2011 -- This cat showed up one cold winter day at a home in Beulah, MB and seemed to have no place to go. His rescuer, one of our foster parents, took him for a check up at the vet clinic where his ear tattoo was read and traced to a couple in Brandon. And that's when his story got really interesting.

Spike is Identified

Turns out Spike went missing while his owners were moving to Brandon in the fall of 2009. And he wasn't seen again until a year and a half later in Beulah... about a hundred kilometres away! By then, his people had given him up for dead but never stopped missing him.

We contacted Wendy Dowan with the good news and she came to pick up her long lost furball. It was an emotional reunion that only happened because of a tattoo.

We'll never know how Spike got to Beulah. Walked? Hitched a ride? All we know is he's home now with his peeps -- safe, warm and contented.

Spike's advice: Tattoo or microchip your pets! Cuz you just never know...

Pet Photo Contest to Become Annual Fundraiser for VPN
Winning Entries: Dogs, Cats and Other Pets Categories

Oct. 1, 2010 -- There were over 50 photos entered in the contest from all over West-Man and as far away as Nicaragua. Our judge was looking for good composition and focus, interesting subject matter and, of course, cuteness. And there were many that met all the criteria!

See all 6 winning entries and the honorable mentions on our Contest Winners Album.

And thanks to everyone who participated. The photographs are remarkable, the pets are adorable, and it was great to see all the critter love. The Pet Photo Contest will be back in 2011.

Kindergarden Kids Learn About Cat Kindness

May 31, 2010 -- Baboo sure loved all the fuss when he visited Kimorie Lees' class at Oak Lake Community School. The teacher and her students had been learning all about pets and put together Kitten Care Kits to be given to people who adopt one of our pets.

Each kit contains a cat toy, packet of treats, catnip bundle, and a copy of a poem written by the kids especially for the rescue:

by the students of Oak Lake Community School

A kitten needs lots of care, love and cuddles each and every day.
She needs food and water, and likes to play!

Kittens like toys,
They like to play like girls and boys!

A kitten needs to visit the vet,
And he needs to sleep in a bed with a blanket.

Kittens need to be adopted by families.
And we hope this kitten kit comes in handy!

Thank you Kindergarden Class of 2010! And thank you Oak Lake School for opening your doors and your hearts to Virden Pet Network.

Silent Auction Fundraiser Held at Valleyview Co-op, Virden

That's Bev Bailey of Virden and Christine Hearn of Brandon, two of the tireless volunteers who sold tickets all day long at Valleyview Co-Op in Virden (missing: Ev Driver).

A big warm "thank you" to them, the merchants who donated prizes and everyone who so generously bought tickets or made a cash donation on the spot. All the dollars made that day will go directly towards vet care for the cats we rescue and rehome.

Prize Donors:

Valleyview Co-op
Virden Animal Hospital
True Value Hardware
The Bargain Store
Andrew Agencies
Sunrise Credit Union
The Mutt Hutt
Martin's Pharmacy
Chicken Chef Restaurant
Shari Lyn Fashions
Lucís Style Hair & Glass
Kassieís Jewelry
Echo Books
Christine Hearn
Bill & June Reimer

Wearing Jeans is Good For Animals
March, 2010 -- Leslie Armstrong (left) of Custom Software Solutions in Virden recently presented Virden Pet Network's Heather Reimer with $400 as Baboo and Joon looked on. The staff's jeans day donation will go towards cat spay/neuter surgeries.

Thanks to all employees who participated and to management for supporting the fundraiser. Now... would any other offices like to try and beat their total???

Oak Lake Community School Comes Through... Again!
April 2010 -- That's Kimerie Lees, a teacher at Oak Lake Community School. Her Grade 4 and 5 classes did a collection drive to help Virden Pet Network. You can't see the goodies because Baboo is on top of them, but inside the box are all kinds of pet food, treats and toys that the kids donated to our rescued pets.

And it isn't the first time. In 2008, OLCS kindergarden class also did a service project to help us out. Thanks to Kimerie and all the kids who participated... both times!

$264 Worth of Girl Power!
Jan. 28, 2010 -- 12-year-old Meaghan Kyle came up with the idea after she saw a picture of one of our homeless cats in the newspaper. She and some of her friends at Virden Junior High decided to raise money for Virden Pet Network.

First they held a bake sale at school. Then they put out a donations jar in the main office. When it was all over, the girls had raised $264 for our pets! That's Meaghan in front, presenting the cheque to our representative Honey Bear.

Back row: Joelle McAuley, Candace Gerrand, Andrea and Shaelyn Langlois, MacKenzie Wooldridge, Marissa Bradbury, and Rhyan Sawyer.

Santa and Her Elves Deliver!
Dec. 24, 2009 -- We weren't expecting a visit from Santa, but on Christmas Eve look what landed on our front doorstep! Ginny Fridd (centre) and her grandchildren Austin and Chassidy Watts dropped by Virden Pet Network to deliver a box full of cheer: cat food, treats, and a wonderful scratching post.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus... and her name is Virginia.

MTS Animal Lovers Dig Deep For Us

Dec. 12, 2009 -- Barb Kauk works at MTS in the IT department in Winnipeg. She's well liked among her coworkers so when Barb asks for donations, she gets donations. This weekend, she delivered 5 big boxes of cat food, treats and toys to Virden Pet Network for our rescued cats... and $515 in cash that she raised selling raffle tickets.

The money will go towards veterinary costs, particularly spay and neuter procedures. A huge hug to Barb and everyone at MTS who gave from the heart to help out a rescue in a faraway town.

Raffle, Fundraiser at Valleyview Co-Op
VirdenPetNetwork raffle Sept. 26, 2009 -- Virden Pet Network's first ever fundraising raffle and awareness event turned out to be a great combination: a table full of prizes, perfect weather, and a good cause: homeless pets.

Our Grateful Thanks Go Out To:
-Christine Hearn, for donating prizes, showing us how it's done, and selling tickets like a hero all day. (That's her in the photo.)
-Virden True Value Hardware, for donating a pet kennel as a prize.
-Valleyview Co-Op, for donating a food hamper and allowing us to set up at their store.

And of course many thanks to those who bought tickets or donated outright. Your contributions will help greatly as we go into the difficult cold months ahead when so many rescued cats need extra vet care, medicine and food.

D'Arcy's ARC Peddles Across Canada For Pets' Sake
Darcy's Ride Across Canada Darcy and Team leave Virden
June 21 & 22, 2009 - Top to bottom: 1. D'Arcy shows off his farmer tan. 2. D'Arcy and team cycle out of town towards Brandon.

Fundraising Garage Sale in Brandon
VirdenPetNetwork garage sale VirdenPetNetwork garage sale

May 2009 -- Heather Reimer of Virden Pet Network (left) and Ev Driver of Brandon (right) organize the clothes. The sale was held at the home of Barb Rice, who founded and runs ABC (All Breeds Cat) Rescue in Brandon. The whole street was having a garage sale so business was brisk.

Our first fundraising event as an organization went smoothly and was a lot of fun. (and we didn't even have to drag home the leftover items... they were donated to Funds for Furry Friends for their upcoming garage sale.)

Our thanks go out to Chris Hearn for organizing the whole thing and doing all the heavy lifting, Barb Rice for hosting it, Ev Driver for supplying the lunch, Bev Bailey of Virden Pet Network for working so hard at the sale and everyone who donated items. Girl power!

Virden Area Foundation Assists Virden Pet Network
May 7, 2009 - Virden Area Foundation has given Virden Pet Network a grant of $1,000 to support our rescue efforts. The money will go towards health care, particularly spay / neuter, for the pets we rescue.

Foundation board member and cat owner Wayne Chacun made the cheque presentation to Virden Pet Network at a ceremony on May 7th. Thank you to the Foundation for this gift; it is literally a life saver.

Provincial Group Comes To The "Rescue"
May 13, 2009 - May was a great month for Virden Pet Network. We received a second grant, this one from the Manitoba Community Services Council. The council is a volunteer board that distributes funding provided by the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, Tourism, and Sport.

Knowing we have the support of both funding bodies makes us even more committed to keep working for homeless and unwanted animals (while allowing us to keep paying the bills!)

Elkhorn School Kids Give Up Presents to Help Pets

Dec. 16, 2008 - Normally at Christmastime, the students in grades five and six at Elkhorn School exchange gifts among themselves. But this year, they broke with tradition. Instead, 14 students and their teacher Will Noseworthy pooled the money they would have spent on those gifts and donated it to Virden Pet Network.

Mr Noseworthy presented Virden Pet Network with a cheque for $150 on behalf of his students. Here are some of their comments:

Stephanie Sanheim, a Grade Six student said, "Thinking about animals that are abandoned is more important than getting a little toy."

"We get enough at Christmas. Itís nice to share money with the animals that need it," said Grade Six student Shari Rhodes.

"Itís a better use of the money," agreed Grade Six students Taryn Soder and Wyatt Peters.

"Instead of getting toys, it would be better to save a really nice petís life," said Harry Wagstaff, a Grade Five student.

Wyatt Bajus, a Grade Six student added, "Christmas isnít all about presents and gifts. The season isnít about getting. Itís about giving."

Bethan Lewis, a Grade Five student, agreed: "It just feels good to give."

"An animalís life is more important than a toy," stated Kassidy Kalyniak, a Grade Six student.

"An animalís life will be made better because of our donation," said Grade Five student Brooke Frederick.

"There is no way that you couldnít be happy giving to these needy animals," said Hunter Johnson, a Grade Five student.

"Saving an animalís life is one of the greatest Christmas gifts you can get," said Grade Five student Amanda Twigg.

Andy Bowering, a Grade Six student said, "My teacher found a kitten recently and contacted Virden Pet Network. Our class knows that they will take good care of the kitten."

"Our donation may actually help the kitten our teacher found," said Kaitlyn Soder, a Grade Six student.

"The money we donated will go to good hands," said Aidan Heaman, a Grade Five student.

"I am very proud of my students. The youth in our community already know the importance of giving and aiding those who need our help. It is nice to see this extended to helpless and abandoned animals," said Mr. Noseworthy, the Grade Five and Six teacher.

We applaud and thank the students and their teacher for this remarkable act of unselfish giving. Your donation will go towards bringing homeless pets in from the cold, giving them food and vet care and lots of love and a new start in life.

Virden Pet Network Partners With Collegiate to Help Strays
Nov. 1, 2008 -- High school students at Virden Collegiate have an opportunity to earn a course credit while they save a stray. Virden Pet Network's foster program is now part of the Collegiate's community service program. It means students can apply to foster a cat in their homes with their parents' permission and use the experience to earn a credit.

This joint cooperation means Virden Pet Network can rescue and place more cats in foster homes. The students benefit from the volunteer experience. If this program interests you, contact the office at Virden Collegiate for an application, or contact Virden Pet Network.

Kindergarden Class Donates Cat Comfort Kits to Virden Pet Network
June 17, 2008 -- These creative youngsters from Oak Lake Community School put their crayons and their compassion into action to help homeless animals. The kindergarden class decided to make the Virden Pet Network their charity of choice.

They created 13 Cat Comfort Kits, each containing string-and-stick toys, catnip toys, and a pouch of cat food. Each kit is decorated with their own crayon drawings of pets. The kits will go along with rescued cats that the Pet Network places in foster homes or permanent homes to help them get settled into their new environment.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to Oak Lake Community School's kindergarden graduating class of 2008! (And their Character Education teacher, Kimerie Lees, who managed the project.)

Copyright © 2010 Virden Pet Network, all rights reserved.