Going retro for animal rights

Published on February 17, 2015
Pictured (L-R) are Angie Parker and Chantal Contois, with Scrappy, who is up for adoption.

CORNWALL, Ontario - A couple of local animal lovers, and their friends, are doing all they can to save animals and protect their rights, one guinea pig at a time.

It all began when Angie Parker, who is presently working on her Master’s degree in alternative farming, attended an animal rights conference in Washington, a couple of years ago.

The experience would be life changing for her. She enlisted her friend, Chantal Contois, and formed Roy and Cher’s Animal Rescue Farm. Roy and Cher being the two cats Parker has adopted from the animal shelter.

They gathered a few more of their friends and began a crusade with the rescue of guinea pigs that were surrendered by a woman who had far too many pets.

“We’ve grown, since then, more volunteers, more fundraisers,” said Contois, adding that presently, they are concentrating on a program to catch feral cats, having them spayed and releasing them back into their colonies. “This reduces the amount of stray cats that we have.”

“If we found that some were pretty friendly, we would try to adopt them out or relocate them to anyone who was looking for feral cats to live in their barn, as mousing cats.”

The group also recently took in another 6 guinea pigs that were abandoned in a box, outside. They have a horse and pony in a foster stable and a waiting list of others.

Because they, as of yet, don’t have a facility, they are rely on foster care for the animals they rescue.

Although independent of the OSPCA, Contois says that both groups are working towards the same cause, and help each other out. 

“It just feels good to finally see an animal come from a not-so-good-place and weeks later, when we check in on them and they are doing well and gaining weight, it’s a nice feeling.”

The group is now stepping up its efforts with its biggest fundraiser yet.

“We are working towards eventually owning some property with stables or kennels to house the animals. Just be able to be more hands on; it’s hard to find foster homes.”

Retro Night is a high quality, high energy tribute act featuring Cher, Neil Diamond, The Bee Gees and ABBA, explained Comtois.

“We’re hoping to sell out,” she said. “We have many expenses, horse and pony in stable, vet bills, and we have a waiting list to have cats fixed.”

There group has already been responsible for spaying of approximately 40 cats.

“That’s a lot of litters that we’ve avoided,”

Retro Night, a fundraiser for Roy and Cher’s Animal Rescue, will take place on Saturday, February 28, at 8pm at Aultsville Theatre. Tickets are $46.50, on line, at www.admission.com, or by calling 613-938-9400.

For further information, visit www.royandcher.org Roy and Cher’s Rescue Farm, or check them out on Facebook.