SERENE SALVATION - Trish Donnelly of Team Serenity takes the plunge into an icy Sylvan Lake during the 2016 Winterfest Polar Bear Dip. Donnelly and her team are once more raising funds for Serenity Pet Shelter Society.

SERENE SALVATION - Trish Donnelly of Team Serenity takes the plunge into an icy Sylvan Lake during the 2016 Winterfest Polar Bear Dip. Donnelly and her team are once more raising funds for Serenity Pet Shelter Society.

Team Serenity gearing up for Polar Bear Dip

Eight week old Serenity Pet Shelter rescue puppy seeking forever home

A group of dedicated local volunteers are looking to again support the Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society in this year’s Polar Bear Dip.

Headed by Sylvan Lake resident, Trish Donnelly, Team Serenity is set to take the icy plunge once more this Saturday at 1 p.m. beside the pier for the annual Winterfest Polar Bear Dip.

Melanie Crehan, Director of Serenity Pet Shelter Society, explained the past year has been a difficult one financially with vet bills for rescued animals quickly approaching the $5,000 mark. Crehan explained Donnelly and her team of dedicated volunteers are an annual blessing to Serenity often raising thousands of dollars which allows the society to continue to care for animals.

Recently Crehan and her team at Serenity rescued an eight week old heeler cross puppy from a reserve. When young Elijah came into Serenity’s care his left eye was badly damaged. Signs of blatant abuse were abundant. The tiny rescued heeler would have surely succumb to his many injuries had he not have been rescued by a kind soul on the reserve.

SAVING LIVES Elijah, an eight week older Heeler cross, was brought to Serenity Pet Shelter Society’s care following his rescue from a reserve. The puppy underwent surgery to repair damage doneto his eye. Serenity is currently looking for a foster home to house Elijah. Photo submitted

Elijah was brought to the Rimbey Veterinary Clinic where he underwent an operation to have his eye removed a surgery which would prove successful and ultimately save the infant canine’s life.

“As an animal lover, it truly breaks my heart that any one could do such a thing to a puppy,” said Crehan following Elijah’s removal from the reserve. “All this puppy wants and has ever wanted is to be loved. It’s truly remarkable that an animal who has faced such abuse could still show such a vibrant personality and such love.”

Surgeries such as the one Elijah underwent often cost Serenity hundreds of dollars. Since the society is fully funded by donation, the funds raised by Donnelly and Team Serenity are vital to the salvation of many rescued animals.

Currently Crehan and Serenity Pet Shelter Society are seeking a medical foster home for Elijah.

“Ideally the foster home would be some one who is home throughout the day and has experience in providing assistance to an animal after surgery as Elijah is a special case,” said Crehan. “But above all, what Elijah needs is to be in a home with a compassionate person with a big heart who is ready to love him.”

The foster home could be a temporary solution for those willing to house Elijah following his release from veterinary care, however Crehan stated there is potential for him to be adopted should the foster home be a good fit.

Crehan and Team Serenity invite residents of Central Alberta to join them on Saturday, February 18 for the Polar Bear Dip which takes place in Sylvan Lake on the west side of the pier. In addition to the Polar Bear Dip a number of family fun activities are being planned throughout the day by various community groups with fireworks set to take place at 7 p.m.

For more information on Serenity Pet Shelter Society, to make a contribution to Team Serenity or to inquire about fostering or adopting Elijah email Melanie Crehan at or by phoning 403 505 2925.


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

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library. (File Photo)
Sylvan Lake Municipal Library provides solution for youth seeking volunteer hours

Youth can fulfill their volunteer hour requirements by reviewing books

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

(File photo)
Boil water advisory continues in Sylvan Lake

AHS has made the boil water advisory mandetory, crews are still working ot fix the water main break

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among other encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read