Tracy Holmes photo Rescued Siberian husky Beau shows his excitement while posing for a photo with students Alijah Sigmund (left) and Francis Lee-Meyer.

South Surrey students set sights on husky-rescue group

Burnaby organization that rescues Siberian huskies from high-kill shelters to benefit

A pair of Semiahmoo Secondary students have taken a dogged approach to a year-end assignment – and Francis Lee-Meyer and Alijah Sigmund hope the end result of their effort will be better lives for rescued Siberian huskies.

The teens, in Grade 11, launched a GoFundMe campaign this month in response to the challenge posed by their social-justice teacher.

As of Monday (April 22), $360 had been raised for Danielle’s husky’s to the Rescue. The teens have their sights set on raising at least $1,000.

“She rescues huskies from high-kill shelters in California,” Lee-Meyer said last week, of Burnaby resident Danielle Callaghan.

“She spends all her money to helping them.”

The teens were inspired to help the rescue organization after learning about the dogs through Amanda Ghilarducci, a learning support assistant at Semi who adopted her husky, Beau, from Danielle’s, and has often shared photos and updates about the two-year-old dog with the students.

“They feel like they know him,” Ghilarducci said.

“My phone is full of photos and I talk to them about him all the time.”

Ghilarducci said she “fell in love with the breed” about five years ago, after rescuing her first husky, Breeze, from the SPCA. She learned about Callaghan’s organization while searching for a ‘sibling’ for Breeze.

READ MORE: 22,000 abused, abandoned animals rescued by the BC SPCA in 2018

While she and her husband had to forego that quest after discovering past abuse had rendered Breeze’s temperament incompatible with other dogs, Ghilarducci returned to Callaghan’s organization after Breeze developed a mass in her heart and had to be euthanized.

“Our house was so empty without a dog,” Ghilarducci said.

They’ve had Beau for about six months now.

Lee-Meyer is no stranger to having a dog – his family owns a year-old Rottweiler-blue heeler cross. Ollie is “helping me get off my screen more,” Lee-Meyer said.

Both he and Sigmund share a love for dogs and want to do what they can to benefit animal rights and quash animal cruelty.

“They’re living beings, they have emotions and they feel pain, the same way we do, (and) they should be treated the same way,” Lee-Meyer said.

“I think of dogs as like humans,” Sigmund said, adding it’s “not right” to put them in high-kill shelters.

In addition to funds, Sigmund and Lee-Meyer are collecting dog toys, treats, collars and other items for the rescue organization.

Ghilarducci said word of the students’ quest brought tears to Callaghan’s eyes. Lee-Meyer and Sigmund said they are considering other events that could bolster the campaign, which is continuing until about mid-June.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

COVID-19: Daily update on pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

June 1: B.C. schools are back in session – but how many students will show up?

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old boy found, Surrey RCMP say

Landon Vangeel-Morgan was last seen 9:14 p.m., May 30 near 96 Avenue and 150 Street

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Most Read