Save the Animals: UNB Saint John student Alisha Burr makes a difference

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UNBSJ Nursing student, Alisha Burr has been hard at work and not just on her university assignments. Burr recently started a GoFundMe campaign called Save the Animals, a fundraiser for the Saint John SPCA and Carma Cat Rescue’s Saint John chapter.

Alisha Burr, an animal lover herself, decided she needed to make a change after seeing an image of an injured animal on Facebook, “I was looking on the Carma website and I came across a picture of a cat and its name was Milford. It was found in the Milford Trailer Park and half of its face was completely torn off.”

The image of that cat was all it took. Burr set out to raise money to help Saint John’s animal population, using social media outlets to spread the word. The ambitious student started a GoFundMe page called Save the Animals. The fundraiser kicked off immediately and Burr set a final goal of $2,900— which she met within a week. Burr began her GoFundMe campaign on Feb. 2 and by Feb. 9 she had surpassed her goal, raising over $3,000.

Through Facebook, Twitter and even Kijiji, Burr and members of the Saint John community spread the word about the Save the Animals fundraiser – and the word most definitely got out. Burr had people from other provinces—and other countries—contributing to her GoFundMe page. Many UNB Saint John students contributed to Save the Animals, showing support for a fellow student and helping out the city’s less fortunate animals.

When asked about her fundraiser’s huge success within such a short period of time, Burr responded, “I honestly was mind-blown. I had no idea that it would even get to a thousand dollars.”

For Burr, Save the Animals is about awareness as much as it is about fundraising, “The entire idea of all of this, is that people have no idea what’s really going on with these animals. Especially in the winter time, they don’t have places to go, they can’t find much food.”

A fundraiser like Save the Animals is hugely beneficial to organizations like the SPCA and Carma. During the winter season especially, animals are faced with frostbite and starvation. Any donations are received graciously by these organizations and even the smallest donations can be a matter of life or death for the animals at the receiving end.

Burr elaborates on the importance of fundraising, “I just wanted to be a change and help the animals with fundraising. Because if you fundraise, the SPCA can take in more animals, or if you fundraise they have more money to get the animals who are already there fixed, medicated and properly vaccinated.”

Alisha’s Save the Animals campaign has already helped animals in the Saint John area. Burr smiles as she explains, “a lady from Carma, Heather Baxter, messaged me and told me that she has saved three cats.” Burr explicitly requested that the funds she had raised go directly to the animals, whether it be rescuing strays or spaying and neutering pets in the shelters.

Alisha Burr’s charitable actions have inspired others to take initiative as well. On Saturday, Feb. 22 Coco Beach held an event, wherein a dollar from every tan purchased that day was set aside to help the city’s animals. The business raised $100, all of which went directly to the SPCA. Burr, who is friends with the owners of Coco Beach, was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of the business’ staff.

The Nursing student isn’t done with Save the Animals yet, a kickboxing class—wherein all proceeds will be donated to Burr’s campaign—is in the works. The GoFundMe page remains open to donations, so it’s not too late to make a contribution to Save the Animals.

Alisha Burr’s Save the Animals campaign has raised an incredible $3,160 to date. The student’s hard work has already helped animals around the city. For some, whose furry friends are adopted from organizations like the SPCA and Carma—fundraisers like this are crucial. Without people like Burr, many animals would never have the opportunity to become beloved pets. Many of the cats and dogs in these shelters rely on the charity of Saint John’s community to allow them a second chance and therefore a chance at happiness.

Check out Alisha’s GoFundMe page here, she is still accepting donations for the SPCA and Carma: http://www.gofundme.com/helpsavetheanimals

For more information on the Saint John SPCA, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Saint.John.SPCA.Animal.Rescue

To learn more about Carma Saint John, follow the link to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/carmasj