Likely students raising money for abandoned dog

Students at Likely Elementary School in the Cariboo region are raising money to buy dog food for Tara, an abandoned dog who has lived in the forest near their community for about three years. (Photo submitted)Students at Likely Elementary School in the Cariboo region are raising money to buy dog food for Tara, an abandoned dog who has lived in the forest near their community for about three years. (Photo submitted)
Students with help from the staff at Likely Elementary School are hosting a Loonie drive to buy dog food for Tara, an abandoned dog who has lived on the outskirts of Likely for about three years. (Photo submitted)Students with help from the staff at Likely Elementary School are hosting a Loonie drive to buy dog food for Tara, an abandoned dog who has lived on the outskirts of Likely for about three years. (Photo submitted)

Children at a rural school in the Cariboo are raising money through a Loonie drive to feed an abandoned dog that has lived on the outskirts of their community for about three years.

“Everyone who lives around here has seen Tara the white dog,” said Likely Elementary/Secondary Rural School principal Jill Kurki. “She will come along the road that leads to the Likely Bridge. Everyone will feed her and try to get her into a vehicle but she is very, very skittish.”

Kurki said Ingrid and Craig Ritson, who live in the community, have taken care of Tara for the last three years.

They built a shelter and a self-feeder for her, which they placed along the Ditch Road, and have been bringing dog food there every two weeks.

“It was getting too much for them and they put a notice up at the post office,” Kurki said, adding the funds raised will also go toward shelter materials if needed in the future.

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Kurki read the notice out to the school’s 15 students and they immediately wanted to help.

When she told the students they wouldn’t be allowed to go out to the Ditch Road site because Tara is skittish and she did not want to expose them to that, they decided they could fundraise and buy Tara treats for Christmas.

“It has been this really lovely outreach lesson. We have been studying different traits on how we learn and grow as humans, thinking outside yourself and caring about people in your community and working together is all coming together and this little project is hitting on all those traits,” Kurki said.

Kurki is in her third year at the school. After the students made posters asking for contributions toward the Loonie drive the response has been good.

The drive ends Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 and Kurki said the students cannot wait to see how much is raised.

“When they do the counting on Monday it will be a math lesson as well.”

Coming to the aid of Tara has almost been contagious, with the enthusiasm organically grown on its own, she added.

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