Not every student is willing to take time out of their busy schedule to volunteer and give back to their community. But for one police foundations student volunteering for an animal rehabilitation ranch is a hobby.
Chloe Collin is a 20-year-old first-year student at the college. She has a full-time course load, a vibrant social life, works part time at a local Wendy’s and still manages to volunteer on a regular basis.
Collin took part in a community project on Jan. 26 that was organized by the AC Hub. She and 10 other students from the college went to Kemptville’s Big Sky Ranch animal sanctuary. While there, students helped with daily tasks such as cleaning out stalls and feeding the animals.
“My favourite part was walking the dog,” said Collin. “It was fun and enjoyable.”
Big Sky Ranch is the only animal sanctuary of its type in eastern and southern Ontario. It’s unique in that it expands its resources to any type of animal, not just a select few. But the most notable thing about this sanctuary is the non-kill policy, which was implemented by the owner, Andy Parent.
“I like the non-kill policy,” said Collin. “It means that every animal has a chance at a home and no matter what their history they still have a chance at being adopted.”
Raquel Moore agrees.
“He is very warm-hearted and funny,” said 17-year-old Moore who has been a volunteer at Big Sky Ranch for the past three years. “But if you’re not on task, he’ll make sure you get back on track.”
The ranch has been in operation since 2002 and relies heavily on volunteers. Almost 2,000 animals have been rehabilitated and adopted from the ranch since its opening.
Algonquin has been volunteering with Big Sky Ranch for years.
The Big Sky Ranch community project is a popular event that attracts a lot of students, said Karen Chiarelli, Co-Curricular Record and Volunteerism Coordinator. Usually the students that have a good time are the ones that go back again and they bring their friends.
“I think there’s just something very peaceful about animals for students,” said Chiarelli.
Collin enjoyed working with the animals and the overall experience. She was able to meet new people and would recommend the experience to others.
“I would definitely go back,” said Collin. “What the owner does for the animals is amazing.”
Although the weather on Jan. 26 was frigid, she was still impressed with the turnout.