Six-month-old Peanut enjoys a neck-brushing from SALI founder Keryn Denroche Monday. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Semiahmoo Animal League embarks on new-farm quest

South Surrey program that serves at-risk children and rescued farm animals is now at-risk itself, says founder

Keryn Denroche has long known that Semiahmoo Animal League, an organization she created nearly a decade ago to help at-risk kids and rescued farm animals, would eventually have to move from the four acres it currently calls home.

But she was caught off-guard last month, when signs the move may have to happen sooner rather than later began to appear.

“As soon as I saw the land-assembly signs, I thought, it’s here,” Denroche said, of signage that has been erected “on all sides” of the 176 Street farm.

“We’re at-risk.”

The reality has prompted a substantial ask: for the donation, lease or lease-to-own of 10 acres somewhere on or near the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

“We’re really good tenants. We could do all the upgrades. But we aren’t in a position, at all, to purchase,” Denroche said.

SALI – which pairs at-risk children with animals as a way to help heal past traumas – moved to its current location in December 2014. Denroche said SALI has a year-by-year lease for the property, with a verbal five-year agreement.

“So there’s no guarantee,” she said.

With that in mind from the get-go, planning for an eventual move began a year ago. A relocation committee has been meeting every month, and obtaining a 10-acre site where SALI can not only continue the work it does now, but expand to serve more of the community – both human and animal – became the “Big Furry Goal,” Denroche said.

It’s planning “for a purposeful move,” she said.

She envisions applying the concepts SALI uses to programs for veterans, seniors, first responders and any other adult who could benefit from the human-animal bond.

“We’ve been so successful at helping kids heal. We would really like to serve more members of the community… anybody that has experienced trauma.”

She’d also like to expand the farm’s animal capacity.

Its existing barn, she said, is “bursting at the seams,” and in dire need of repairs, including to its roof, which is currently tarped due to leaks. (As SALI does not own the buildings, any work to address such issues is a Band-Aid measure, and any new structures are built to be portable, Denroche said.)

Two of farm’s newest residents, a six-month-old calf named Peanut and a blind cow named Gracie, were rescued from certain slaughter four months ago. They share a stall in the barn, but come spring, their quarters will tighten, as a result of a detail Denroche was not aware of at the time the pair first arrived: Gracie is pregnant.

Denroche said while SALI is not in a position to buy property, they will fundraise $500,000 for infrastructure, through a “very strategic fundraising campaign.”

She acknowledged the request for property is a big ask.

“But it’s happened (for other non-profits),” she said, pointing to A Rocha, which was gifted their $4.1-million South Surrey property early last year.

She asked for anyone who may have or know of property for SALI, to contact her at keryn@sali.ca

 

SALI volunteer John McLean lures Peanut away from the sweeter hay. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Gracie and the Peanut. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Just Posted

Surrey’s Jujhar Khaira registers first two-goal game of NHL career

The Edmonton Oilers forward has nine points in 16 games this season

Movie about Surrey’s ‘Sandwich Nazi’ now airing on multiple streaming sites

‘The Sandwich Nazi’ film first aired in 2015 amidst conflict between star and director

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at Delta farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

Proposed Delta bylaw to change rules about secondary suites, parking

Most of the changes in Delta’s new bylaw are largely administrative, but could impact some homeowners

VIDEO: IHIT identifies Langley murder victim

IHIT is now on scene investigating the death.

Tourism Delta seeks North Deltan for board of directors

Candidates must have “ability to represent the needs of the community and understand the challenges”

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

VIDEO: Man frustrated that Vancouver taxi driver won’t take him home to New Westminster

Kuldip Gill says that not being able to get a ride to the suburbs is a constant problem

Legacy of Amanda Todd lives on through B.C. foundation

Todd’s mother Carol stresses the importance of putting the phone down and talking with children

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read