For over 25 years, Little Ray’s Nature Centres has been pivotal in assisting in animal rescue, welfare, education,and world conservation efforts. As a key partner to the Humane Societies and SPCA’s as well as Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Authorities across Canada, Little Ray’s has self funded the rescue, care and relocation of over 6,000 animals. Some animals have remained at Little Ray’s, in sanctuary, as appropriate permanent placements have not been available. Since March of 2020 Little Ray’s has accepted roughly 100 extra animals from organizations which had to fully close their doors due to the impacts of Covid-19. Currently, over 80% of the animals residing at Little Ray’s are rescues. Our goal has always been to provide exceptional care while finding the most ideal, permanent solutions for these animals to comfortably live out their lives.
Ten months into the Covid-19 pandemic, Little Ray’s remains shut down, in further lockdown, relying on government programs, business loans and support from the general public to keep the lights on, pay staff, pay veterinary bills, feed the animals, and continue its crucial conservation and rescue efforts.
Small business is being decimated. In that sense we are not unique. What sets us apart from other businesses is our responsibility to provide for over 900 animals in our care. We can’t ‘shut down’. We’ve had to close our doors but our overhead remains the same. Turning off the lights and walking away to ride out the storm is not an option for the staff working at Little Ray’s.
Since March of 2020 we are now down $750,000 in cash flow. This is after taking into account the support from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).
The Federal and Provincial governments recognize that certain sectors of small business have been crushed. They say they want to help. Yet we are expected to borrow our way out of this financial crisis, only to be required to pay back what could be close to $2,000,000 plus interest. With our nature/rescue centres facing such an uncertain future we are forced to make some very tough decisions.
Effective immediately we are not able to responsibly assist with any further rescues. Our focus must remain on providing for the over 900 animals currently in our care.
Furthermore, without immediate significant funding and proper support to our organization we will have no choice but to start the process of winding down our nature/rescue centre operations over the next 6 months. We simply can not borrow near $2,000,000 to get to a point where we can start the process to return to normal and have any chance of recovery.
Little Ray’s Nature Centres is a company that has played a critical role across Canada to multiple animal welfare organizations and government authorities at all levels. We have driven jobs and paid our fair share of taxes to our economy. We have been completely shut down and are now expected to borrow our way through this time while many of Canada’s largest most profitable companies receive government hand-outs so they can pay dividends to shareholders.
We are fighting for the opportunity to reasonably continue while supporting much needed animal welfare, rescue, and education across Canada. We are not looking to pay dividends or get rich. We just want to survive!
We have a distance to go to get through this unprecedented time and are facing tremendous uncertainty. Any support, whether it be a purchase through our webstore, our Adopt an Animal Program, booking a zoo zoom or certificate for future use, or through donation or sponsorship is a valued gift to us here at Little Ray’s!
We continue to remain positive and look toward brighter days. Until then we urge everyone to please support small businesses and be an advocate for their survival. Especially those within your community, like Little Ray’s Nature Centre, that have been unable to operate and are struggling to survive.
To provide a gift to our non-profit organization, please visit: https://littlerays.org/donate-to-fare
Visit our webstore at: www.lrnc.co
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- Susi Kennedy-Burcew
- Marion Scharf
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