Meet Marilyn, a team member at the Siberian Husky Assistance and Rescue Program - or SHARP! We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about the charity and learned about their amazing mission. We are honoured to be able to donate a portion of our proceeds to this great cause - and the amazing dogs are just the cherry on top!
What is the mission of SHARP?
Working with animal shelters, rescue groups, dog owners and the general public, our goals are:
- To assist with the rescue and rehoming of Siberian Huskies;
- To offer advice to new and current owners about the proper care and ownership of Siberian Huskies;
- To provide education and information about the Siberian Husky breed to new and potential owners
Specifically, S.H.A.R.P. provides the following:
Rescue. The primary mission of S.H.A.R.P. is rescue. Although we hope that all Siberian Huskies and their owners will enjoy a lifetime together, in reality this does not always happen for a variety of reasons. When all else fails, S.H.A.R.P. works on the rescue, rehabilitation and relocation of a Siberian Husky in distress. We help local shelters and humane societies rescue neglected or mistreated Siberian Huskies. We also use this network and other contacts to return lost Siberians to their owners. We work with these organizations and the general public to find new homes for Siberians.
Advice. The membership of S.H.A.R.P. consists of owners and breeders of Siberian Huskies. Our members have a wealth of knowledge about the behavior, training and care needed for the breed. We are eager to offer our experience to help others enjoy the company of their pet. In addition, we have access to a wide variety of information and expertise, including the Siberian Husky Club of Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club and several international organizations. We want people and their Siberians to have long, happy lives together.
Education. The Siberian Husky is a beautiful and noble breed. They are often seen in movies, television and advertisements. Unfortunately this exposure can and has led to problems. People want to own a Siberian because of their beauty and the behavior seen in these controlled situations. They do not realize the time and effort needed to work with a Siberian in order to achieve these goals. Similar problems occurred with the Dalmatian and Saint Bernard breeds with the movies "101 Dalmatians" and "Beethoven". S.H.A.R.P. cares about the image and myths that exist about the Siberian Husky breed. We want to ensure people understand the Siberian Husky. S.H.A.R.P. provides education to potential, new and current owners, either on a one-to-one basis or via social media.
How did the charity start? Was there a specific event that inspired its founding?
S.H.A.R.P. was originally formed in the summer of 2000 and continued in the field of rescue work for almost twelve years until March 2012 when it ceased operations. Because of an increasing number of Siberian Huskies requiring rescuing and rehoming, S.H.A.R.P. was resurrected in March 2016 with the help of a start-up donation from the Siberian Husky Club of Canada.
What has been your favourite memory working at SHARP?
Sometimes you get a perfect fit and it makes you strive all the more to make it happen again. It's also great when we do outside events, such as adoption meet & greets and dog-related fairs and exhibitions where we can meet the general public and get word out about SHARP and our work. Events are also a good opportunity to meet up in person with the other SHARP Board Members as we are scattered around Ontario so a lot of our working together is done online. It's also a great feeling when you've helped give advice to someone having difficulties and you can support and guide them to keeping and working with their dog rather than rehoming.
There is an annual Mail Run in support of SHARP, during the month of February in Parry Sound. The Mushers sell Sledvelopes (below) that are carried by dog sled teams between two towns for a distance of 12 miles to the post office mistress to be sent onwards. It's quite the novelty which is enjoyed by all. The Seguin Township organizes a two venue auction for us and we sell SHARP Swag. It was a roaring success with a lot of money raised. We even have a Board Member who takes part in the event with their dog sled team!
Here is a 'sledvelope'!
How can people support your charity?
GoFundMe for donations, T-Shirts, Paw Boxes can be purchased. Of course support Animated Coffee. They donate a portion of their proceeds at the end of each year to SHARP. All of the ways to support us can be found here.