The Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter is $3,141.03 richer thanks to a social media contest.
The Westwood shelter is one of 18 local charities that won money from Property Deal Today, a Winnipeg online company that connects homeowners with local home professionals, from realtors to service providers to handymen.
Property Deal Today founder Neil Patel said that when he started this company, he and his employees promised to donate 10% of their gross revenue back to local charities — but they wanted to do it in a fun way.
"We have introduced a social media contest called Donation Equation, so 10% of our bucket money is ready to be donated back to the community. But the community votes on what charity they want the money to go to," Patel said.
"The most votes gets the most money, and the least votes get the least money, but everyone wins and nobody loses."
Property Deal Today’s mandate is that participating charities must be local and that the money is to be used locally.
Lucky for Carla Martinelli-Irvine, founder and executive director of the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter (3062 Portage Ave.), her cause earned the most votes.
"The shelter has really been struggling this winter," said Martinelli-Irvine, a Westwood resident. "We’ve had more cases of frostbite and injuries to animals this winter than in the 28 years I’ve been doing this. We’ve had animals frozen to the ground, literally."
Property Deal Today held a luncheon for the 18 charities on Feb. 19.
"We were very blessed to have gotten the most votes," Martinelli-Irvine said. "It’s a delightful day for all charities."
Martinelli-Irvine began the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter because she believes euthanasia should not be a means of population control.
"Our shelter was the first no-kill shelter in Manitoba," Martinelli-Irvine said. "I believe there’s somebody for everybody out here. If an animal comes into our shelter, there’s no time limit to their stay. They stay until someone adopts them."
The Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter, although not a large facility, averages about 1,000 adoptions per year.
Among the other 17 charities that received money were the West Broadway Youth Outreach and Resource Assistance for Youth in Wolseley.