I first met Nicole Joncas at a demonstration for animals back in 2008 – 2 years before I launched Montreal Dog Blog. I was excited to meet her because (especially in rescue circles), her reputation preceded her. Nicole – as one individual – was endeavoring a David and Goliath battle. This feisty, tireless woman
was preparing to take on the Quebec government ALONE – and sue them for their inaction over puppy mills (read more here). Her story made the media circuit and many, many people cheered on her cause.
At the same time, Nicole was managing her own rescue: Teja’s Refuge – just over the Ontario border. A long time animal lover and advocate, Nicole cared for many rescued creatures: from farm animals to dog and cats. She continues to do so. But…
Today, I learned that Nicole is struggling and this breaks my heart. Having lost her husband fairly recently – Nicole, at the age of 67, is doing everything on her own. In case you don’t make it to the end of the below letter (and I sincerely hope you do) – please consider helping Nicole out in person, as she has helped so many thousands of animals over the decades.
Perhaps take up a collection of items (scroll below for list) and pay a visit! Make it a group outing and bring your friends and family to help care for farm animals! Click here for the Teja Volunteer Page. And check out Nicole’s Teja Page here.
Every now and then you meet a person who really touches you. I have met Nicole on only a few occasions, but I know she’s good folk. Just quietly helping animals and letting her legacy of good work speak for her. The kind of person animals need. And now, she needs us, though she will never ask outright for help. Can we help lift her up?
Here is what came to my inbox today:
The goat portrayed in this photo is doing pretty great. The lady in red, not so much. Can you help her?
Portrayed is Carl the goat, in good health and spirits after being rescued from factory farming; and his keeper, Nicole Joncas, 67, founder and operator of Teja’s Animal Refuge, east of Ottawa. For 23 years, Nicole has always ensured that animals come first at Teja’s, which over that span has provided a home for thousands of goats, sheep, horses, cows, hens, ducks, geese, pigs, dogs and cats rescued from abusive situations like factory farms, and brought to a new home at Teja’s.
And because the animals come first, little if any funding is ever left over for Nicole, and so her state of poverty grows and grows…
Because she won’t spend the animals’ money on herself, Nicole can’t afford to: pay her phone bill, and so her service was cut on August 28; fix her leaky tattered roof; repair her smoke-belching home heating; replace faulty wiring that’s cut off electricity on her main floor; insulate her home (she tapes plastic bags to her windows); replace her dilapidated windows and torn screens that allow cold and flies inside her home; and just generally renovate her 150-year-old country home and her 23-year-old sanctuary-keeper existence.
Helping Nicole is good for her and essential for the animals.
And for the animals directly, $ is needed for food, vet bills, sterilization, enclosure maintenance, hired labour, repairs to fencing and pasture, replacement of the pig barn’s stolen block heater, purchase of a tractor, and more.
And GREAT news too: Concerned, experienced activists from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto are working to change fortunes at Teja’s, by boosting public promotion of the sanctuary, and its funding. One of the initial steps will be a visit to Teja’s shortly by renowned animal rights photographer Jo-Anne McArthur. Activists will also utilize online fundraising platforms, revamp Teja’s website, and produce a Teja’s brochure. Please share your ideas and talents and post a comment or send a message if you want to get involved!
While that’s all being worked on for the medium and long term, in the short term any donation you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Whether it’s $5 or $500, any help is valuable. Let’s pool our resources and give some relief to Nicole and her rescued animals. Thank You.
********************* TO DONATE ************************
PLEASE NOTE: Teja’s website is inaccessible for now, but you can still send online donations via Canada Helps at:http://www.canadahelps.org/
***CHEQUE: payable to Teja’s Animal Refuge, sent to: Teja’s Animal Refuge, 21511 McCormick, Glen Robertson ON K0B 1H0
***CASH: in person during volunteer days, first Sunday of every month from 1-4. https://www.facebook.com/
Donations of $25+ receive a tax receipt.
***************** ITEMS ALWAYS NEEDED *****************
– Sheets & blankets to provide bedding & warmth for the animals
– Dog food, watermelons, cukes, bananas, apples, grapes, tomatoes for the animals
– Large-print books and an e-reader so Nicole can read
– Hundreds of screws (3.5 inch)
– An electric drill to use on the volunteer day or to donate
– A sturdy pickaxe made of strong wood