After seven years, the board of a local non-profit agency says they’re calling it quits.
The Road Home Rescue and Safekeeping Society’s president Robin Bristow said the group’s remaining board members made the “difficult” decision to dissolve following their annual general meeting last week.
The volunteer-run, not-for-profit society was formed in 2010 when it was determined there were no other local agencies providing services for pets in crisis situations.
In his announcement, Bristow said the decision is based on what the board feels is a waning lack of interest from the public.
“The founding members had a great vision for what this could have been,” he wrote in his Facebook announcement last Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, when attendance at an AGM is only three people and no one is willing to volunteer to sit on the board, there is no alternative.”
He continued, thanking those who had supported the society over the years, and said he hopes those in need of foster assistance for their pets are able to find neighbours, local agencies or others in the community to help them.
Bristow said the decision to dissolve the society was not an easy one, but ultimately, a necessary one.
“We (the board) took a real hard look at the situation, and we’re all coming at it from the same perspective — we want to see it work but unfortunately we just can’t make it work anymore. We all work, some of us have moved or opened businesses — it’s unfortunate, but at the end of the day volunteer organizations need volunteers to help them run and unfortunately in this case, we ran out of people.”
Despite their best efforts to entice people to join the board, he said few people were able to commit, and while he understands that “life gets in the way,” he can’t help but feel disappointed.
“We saw this coming a few years ago and talked about shutting it down but we just wanted so badly to keep trying,” he said.
“You’d like to think that you could just snap your fingers and people will just show up, but it doesn’t work that way.”
While the news admittedly frustrates him, Bristow, a longtime community advocate and volunteer, said he feels the situation with The Road Home, could be indicative of a bigger problem in the non-profit community.
“Part of volunteering is about passion, and what people care about – maybe this is in indication that people don’t care, or don’t think there is a need. I know there are lots of organizations that have volunteers, but there are a ton who, for whatever reason, don’t — who need people and have a hard time getting people out.”
In the meantime, Bristow said the group’s Facebook page and website will be taken down in the coming weeks, and he will spend the next few months officially dissolving The Road Home, and looking for more volunteer opportunities.
“It doesn’t take that much, this was a lot, but there are lots of volunteer opportunities that don’t take much —two hours a week. There’s a ton of organizations out there that need help, and I hope that people who have the time are able to give even a little of their time. These organizations are what make a community a great place to live.”