Local fundraiser farms funds for animal rescue group

Mount Pearl resident starts bottle and recycling drive to aid the SEC Animal rescue Group.

Katrina McLaughlin has been taking care of animals since 2017. Having grown up with farm animals, she has seen the need for change when it comes to animal welfare. Katrina McLaughlin/submitted photo

Mistreatment of animals is a global issue and there are people fighting the battle right here in Newfoundland.

Katrina McLaughlin is the creator of the Spirit Equine Centre Rescue Group.

In 2017, McLaughlin and her family moved into a farm property in Portugal Cove. The previous owners left seven horses behind. Having grown up with farm animals, she took it upon herself to act.

“It was really disheartening,” said McLaughlin. “The horses didn’t have enough food and weren’t getting enough of what they needed. That’s how this all started. I just seen the need.”

Shortly after beginning her work with the horses, McLaughlin realized just how hard it was going to be.

“To feed a horse properly is a car payment, literally $300 to $600, and there were seven of them” McLaughlin said. “I was supplementing their diets with grains, deworming them, and getting people from Lester’s Farm to help with trimming their feet.”

Eventually, she started taking on the responsibility of caring for other people’s animals, such as dogs and goats.

“In April 2020, we moved to Bell Island,” she said. “People kept coming to us about the cats there. There was just such a need to help.”

In 2021, she found a building in Bell Island to house the rescued cats. Before that, she was working from a friend’s home and barn.

“In November, we homed 37 cats, and we’ve since doubled that,” McLaughlin said.

The group has received help from a variety of sources such as Mark Clarke. After adopting a rescue kitten from McLaughlin, he decided that he wanted to lend a helping hand.

On Jan. 14, Clarke started a bottle drive to raise funds for the rescue group.

“Just want to do what’s best for the animals (and) to raise money for food and supplies and to help pay vet bills to rehome the animals,” Clarke said.

Clarke is excited about the response to his bottle drive so far.

“I’ve seen a good response,” Clarke said. “A good bit of recycling and about 50 dozen beer bottles. Every little bit helps so far.

“I really don’t think people understand the issue with letting cats outside and how fast they can breed,” said Clarke. “Feels good to see how all of them came from living outside to being able to go to families that give them homes. It’s all for the animals.”

With Clarke and others helping raise funds, McLaughlin and her group can keep helping the animals.

“If we are really concerned about the animals and making a difference, lets make a difference,” McLaughlin said. “If it can work in this community, why can’t it work in other communities?”


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