For many people having a pet is seen as a great way to have companionship. Dogs, cats, rabbits and critters enrich both the lives of the owner and the furry friend.

However as is so often the case, pets are very often abandoned or handed over to pet rescue shelters due to any number of factors such as veterinary bills, the owner moving, or simple outright neglect.

Pet rescue shelters are few and far between in the Manitoba, and most of them run on a perpetual deficit. The 2022-23 Annual report for the Winnipeg Humane society for example states that the operating budget had a shortfall of almost half a million dollars for that fiscal year, with  only 52% percent of the funds for the budget coming from donations and bequests.

Jane Meagher is the founder of 100+ Manitobans Who Love Animals. This is a newly founded organization that hopes to use a community philanthropic model to raise money for pet rescue shelters; the thinking being that pooled member donations have a larger, more significant and impactful result on the recipient shelter.

On Wednesday, March 27th starting at 5:30 and going until 7:00 at the Norwood Hotel in the Tache Room, the 100+ Manitobans Who Love Animals will have their inaugural meeting. The aim is to meet every 3 months, and collectively raise money for organizations that take care of animals.

This project is very close to Jane Meagher's heart. She grew up in England surrounded by animals and specifically greyhounds that had been rescued from the dog tracks. As she explains, “When the dogs become too old or are not winning they are euthanized…so my family started up a rescue for these dogs. We took them in and then tried to find them homes.”

This love of animals has been with Meagher all her life, and the desire to protect them and make sure they are cared for is something that she is very passionate about.

The aim of the 100+ Manitobans Who Love Animals is to collectively raise money for various pet recue organizations. “The overall goal is to create philanthropic organization with as many Manitobans as possible…and together the goal is to support the amazing animal agencies or charities that  actually go up north and arrange for injured animals to be brought back to Winnipeg…they arrange for spay and neuter of the animals,” says Meagher.

The organization is open to anybody who loves animals. The group will meet four times a year and vote on different animal care agencies each time. The collaborative philanthropy happens by each person donating $100.00. The money gets pooled together for the agency that is voted on at each meeting. If there are 100 people it means that $10, 000 dollars would get raised for the shelter. This larger sum of money would be much more impactful on the deserving shelter.

There will be four winning agencies per year. A different agency will get voted on in each of the four yearly meetings. The winning agency will attend the following meeting and will tell the organization members what the money they received was used for. So members can really see how their money is helping this incredible cause.

The overall cost is $400.00 dollars a year for each member, but as Meagher points out, spread over the year it amounts to a little over $33.00 a month; less than most people spend on coffee per month.

The 100+ Manitoban Who Love Animals, is a great way to help those furry friends who do not have a voice, and cannot speak for themselves.

The first meeting takes place on Wednesday, March 27th starting at 5:30 and going until 7:00 at the Norwood Hotel in the Tache Room.

For more details visit the 100+ Manitobans Who Love Animals website.