The Valley Echo’s Giving Back Golf Tournament is coming up June 26. Proceeds from the event, auction, and other activities will be going to the volunteer group Invermere Companion Animal Network (ICAN).
ICAN was started in May 2007. Originally, it was a lost and found network for lost pets, but as word of the new group got out, ICAN quickly became a rescue group, helping lost or homeless animals. ICAN is currently 95 per cent feline-oriented, but they will accept owner-surrendered dogs if a foster home to send them to is available, and deal with other small animals.
During the Giving Back Golf Tournament, ICAN will have a set of items up for auction. One especially unique item will be a hockey jersey, autographed by retired Vancouver Canucks player Trevor Linden.
Because it is a retired jersey, the item is quite rare. In addition to winning the jersey, the individual will have a chance to meet Linden himself if they are going to be in Vancouver following the golf tournament. Linden will personalize the jersey and the winner will have a photo opportunity as well. If the jersey winner is unable to go to Vancouver, the jersey will be sent to Linden for personalization, and sent back.
Packages offered from hotels and businesses in the Columbia Valley may also be available to be won, but these prizes are currently still in negotiation.
“Budget” items will be available for auction as well.
Recently, ICAN staff underwent a road-trip to Utah to bring former ICAN resident, a cat named May, to the Best Friends Animal Society.
May, who had lost one of her legs before arriving at ICAN, was beginning to have health issues again.
ICAN worked to have her accepted at the Best Friends Animal Society, where veterinarians are available, and raised funds to help pay for the gas to drive the approximately 20 hours to get May to her new home.
May is happy and healthy again now, according to ICAN president Lana Banham.
“They were overjoyed to see her,” Banham said of the Best Friends Animal Society. “She is in very good hands.”
At the moment, ICAN is housing not only young and adult cats, but also a litter of kittens, and according to Banham, are expecting to see more kittens once the current litter is adopted out.
The current group of five kittens were rescued from a barn by a new rescue group in Golden called Little Mittens.
They were brought to ICAN for further care.
Kittens are usually ready to be adopted at eight or 10 weeks from ICAN, as they must have their first vaccinations and juvenile spay or neutering before going out. New kittens brought into ICAN are kept in isolation to help protect them from illness and infection before they receive their vaccinations.
“It’s just great, that they have a shelter for animals in need of help here, with caring people to look after them and take care of them,” said Marie Pike, who has been volunteering at ICAN for 10 months.
Pike says her love of animals initially brought her to help volunteer with ICAN, and hopes to continue volunteering for as long as she can.
“They certainly do need another shelter,” said Pike of a future expansion of the ICAN buildings. “But for what they have now, it’s just great. The animals are warm, cared for, fed, and kept clean and happy.”
To learn more about ICAN, visit www.icanhelpapet.com or to enter the golf tournament, call The Valley Echo at 250-342-9216.