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Big Bend animal rescues facing challenges

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jun 08, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Champs Chance is in the business of dog rescue, Alicia Bopp, Founder of Champs Chance says they get a lot of dogs from rural areas, which means sometimes they come with a host of medical issues.

"Our vet bill was right at $3,000 for the week," said Bopp "The vet bill this week is probably going to be 5 to 6,000, I would imagine, if not more."

Bopp says they are mostly funded by donations which is what they desperately need right now. Even though the vet bills continue to rack up, she says it's worth it to help animals in need.

"I made that choice because these pups were on the street, and were dumped, and were strays and it's not a me problem or a you problem, it's an everybody problem," Bopp explained.

Courtney Kendrick is the new Volunteer and Engagement Coordinator for the Leon County Humane Society. At one point they had about 400 volunteers before the pandemic, right now they have about 20. Within her first month Kendrick created a portal for volunteers to apply, and it's already been successful.

"I've already probably tripled, and it was already small to begin with but I probably have 40 applications since starting this new system," said Kendrick.

According to Kendrick a lot of volunteers are college students, which means they lose some people in the summers. They can take volunteers as young as 16 to help with tasks around the shelter.

"Helping out with cleaning the cats and playing with the cats is super helpful. We also have a lot of other things like general maintenance like we'll get a lot of donations throughout the week, so sometimes our donations need to be sorted and organized," Kendrick said.

If volunteering is not something you have time for, fostering is always an option.

"If you are able to open up your home to an animal to foster even for a short amount of time that would be super helpful," said Kendrick.

And for Champs Chance while they do need donations. Bopp says the gift of a persons time can go a long way.

"Just really anything that anyone can do, not everyone has the money to give and we understand that but an hour or two a week of someone's time is free," Bopp said.

Leon County Humane Society is having a volunteer interest meeting at their location on Timberlane Road, Friday June 9 at 6 p.m.

Champs Chance is also looking for volunteers and donations. If you'd like to help, you can go to their website.