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 melaniecrehan@gmail.com or by phoning 403 505 2925.