Students in Likely have raised more than $600 in week to help feed Tara, an abandoned dog, who lives in the outskirts of their town. (Daniela Sullivan photo)

Students in Likely have raised more than $600 in week to help feed Tara, an abandoned dog, who lives in the outskirts of their town. (Daniela Sullivan photo)

Outpouring of support for Likely school students, stray dog

‘It’s unbelievable,’ said principal Jill Kurki

In an un-Scrooge like sentiment students at Likely Elementary School took great delight counting the $633.55 they raised in a week to help care for an abandoned dog living in the outskirts of their community.

When principal Jill Kurki told the students that the local citizens who had been feeding Tara the dog for three years were asking for some help, they jumped at the opportunity to give Tara the dog the best Christmas ever.

“It’s amazing and unbelievable,” Kurki told the Tribune, noting in addition to the money raised through a Loonie drive, people have dropped off cheques at the School District 27 board office or mailed them to the school.

Read more: Likely students raising money for abandoned dog

The school’s phone has been ringing off the hook as well with strangers calling to ask how they can help and to talk about their own love of dogs, including someone who said they would be dropping a dog bed off at the school board office, which will not fit in her mail box, Kurki said with a chuckle.

Cathy Rosner of Cool Clear Water, who often provided a the Ritson with a bag of dog food if she had one that was ripped, said the company Nutram contacted her and said they wanted to provide a year’s worth of dog food for free.

“I’m so excited,” Rosner added. “I knew Janice Pestun at Nutram was going to do something, but did not expect that.”

Ingrid Ritson, who along with her husband Craig, were the ones feeding Tara for the last three years. Craig built a shelter and a self-feeder they placed in the forest off the Ditch Road.

Ritson said another woman from Likely started helping a year ago and they took turns. Tara is about 12 years old and as the Ritsons adopted a stray cat and have dogs, they are grateful for the students wanting to help.

“I think it is amazing,” she said.

Kurki noted it could not have turned out any better and has been a really fun thing for the school and the children enjoyed seeing themselves in the newspaper.

SD 27 Supt. Chris van der Mark said he knew the story garnered a lot of interest quickly and it is always good news when young people are taking the time to take better care of a stray animal.

“I think we could all use more stories like that. Wouldn’t that be simpler world?”

Besides, the world is better with dogs, he added.

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