Animal shelter co-founder awarded
Debra Michel, co-founder of Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society was one of four Canadians recently honoured with a Global Pet Foods Heroic Heart Award.
Nominated by Airdrie volunteers, Michel was given the award at Global Pet Food’s south store, located in King’s Heights, June 4.
“I was shocked,” said Michel of winning the award.
Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society started as a family-run pot-bellied pig rescue about 12 years ago. As word spread about their work, people started asking the family to take in other species.
Before they knew it, the family had a full-fledged rescue, which was given official non-profit status in 2004.
Oops-a-Dazy, which is volunteer run, has adopted out about 3,000 animals, including pigs, cats, dogs, horses, donkeys, goats and alpacas, since its inception.
Mainly funded through donations and adoption fees, the shelter currently has 150 animals in its care.
Oops-a-Dazy has an 18-acre plot of land near Gleichen, purchased in 2003, where animals are first brought for assessment after being rescued. The land is also a sanctuary for animals deemed un-adoptable.
Families in Airdrie, Chestermere, Calgary and surrounding areas have adopted pets from Oops-a-Dazy. The organization has also partnered with Airdrie Global Foods, which hosts monthly adoption events and raises awareness about adoptable pets and the organization.
Michel said the partnership is extremely important as it helps Oops-a-Dazy remain operational.
The organization is always looking for more volunteers and the rewards for doing so are varied, according to Michel.
“If you have the love of animals, rescuing or looking after a sick or injured animal… it’s so rewarding,” she said.
Michel, who is battling cancer, works tirelessly to plan fundraising events to raise money for the shelter.
Michel will receive a year’s worth of pet food donated to her charity of choice and a spa day.