(C. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, July 24, 2012 )
Andrea Johns is no stranger to helping displaced animals find homes. As a former organizer for Fido Does Ferndale and a volunteer for the now dis-banded Waggs & Wishes she’s helped make dozens of pet connections. Now, in the absence of a Ferndale shelter or rescue group, she and pal Rachel Heller are making things happen with their new pet connecter group Ferndale Fur Trading Company.
“The Ferndale Fur Trading Company was started because the citizens began expressing a need for a rescue group in town,” Johns said. “We saw an opportunity to bring these folks together in a citywide effort to help pets find homes and to help citizens find pets! Because we two have so many human connections in Ferndale, and so many friends in the rescue community, we decided we could best be used to bring the two together through fun events, networking and creating visibility for the animals.
“There is also a forgotten community of individuals who take in and foster strays on their own- The Ferndale Fur Trading Company is a resource and outlet for them as well.” Johns works at Dino’s Lounge and Heller often helps her friends at the Rust Belt Market – giving them plenty of potential pet parents to network with.
Aside from the founders, FFTC has a small group of about 20 people who are lending a hand. “The beauty of the group is simplicity,” Johns said. “Volunteers can put in as much or as little time as they want, and will be given projects to help with fundraising and events, or we will get them in contact with rescue groups if they want to work directly with animals- Walking, cleaning and socializing.
“Our long-term goal is to create a “Visibility Team”- a core group of volunteers who can pick up dogs from shelters or fosters and walk them around Ferndale, meeting folks and socializing them. We would also like to eventually start a Petfinder page and official website to promote the animals that individuals are rescuing and fostering. Then, of course, adoption events, fundraisers for special causes and community awareness events.”
Because the group is so new, there are several things that need attention. Johns said everyone is welcomed and needed.
“Anyone with special talents… grooming, training, web and graphic design, photography, etc. will be greatly appreciated and used! Anyone who is just curious can meet with us to plan and brainstorm. Members of different rescue groups are encouraged to contact us, so we can find a way to help. This is so new, and the possibilities are endless if we gather a large enough army!”
To look for pets that are available, or to find out more about FFTC, check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheFerndaleFurTradingCompany.