Here is a brief interview with D’Arcy’s Johnston of D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre (A.R.C.) at 730 Century St. D’Arcy’s ARC is my adopted charity.
For the transcript, click on this down arrow
Announcer: [00:00:00] Buying or selling a home requires specialists from multiple related fields. Here everything you need to know direct from the source as the Real Estate Roundtable presents expert.
Ryan Ghidoni: [00:00:11] And today we welcome Darcy Johnston from Darcys Ark which is short for D’arcy’s animal rescue centre. Welcome to the show Darcy.
D’Arcy: [00:00:18] Thank you thank you for having me.
Bo Kauffmann: [00:00:19] I met you a couple of years ago and I was always intrigued by how you got started. Tell us how your charity got started in the basement of your home.
D’Arcy: [00:00:26] Basement of my home and in 1998 isn’t that long ago I was a technician by trade I worked in the busy emergency clinics and part of my job was to euthanize animals and when it came to the point where the animal’s life was over their cancer or other they can no longer sustain a regular animal’s life. So they would be put down those ones I had didn’t have a problem with it’s the ones that people dropped off kittens and puppies and they just didn’t want them anymore. They paid the fee and walked away. So those are the ones that I took home with me. So in one year I had 30 animals in my house. It became a little overwhelming and I had to make a decision. Is this what I want to do. I want to run a shelter. Do I want to continue to work in the clinics. I enjoyed my job at the clinic but it got to the point where I just couldn’t do the euthanasia anymore. And I opened up a shelter was started in the basement my home. Then we started on Portage Avenue 1793 portages where we started. We were there for seven years. And from Portage you went where went to Santa where we are now Centry street 730 century street. We have approximately 7000 square feet and we’re the largest for life shelter in Western Canada.
Bo Kauffmann: [00:01:34] For life. Interesting concept interesting idea. It does not necessarily mean that you’re going to have an animal forever.
D’Arcy: [00:01:41] No no kill is an acceptable term in North America. And everybody thinks that the term no kill they don’t kill but every shelter euthanizes at one point or another. And I’m hoping it’s for good reasons. If we get an animal that’s been hit by a car it can’t sustain a normal animal life. We do stop suffering. We do not let animals suffer in a kennel. That’s something I will not do so we do euthanize so we call her and ourself a for life facility and the animals are with us until they’re adopted. Right. You know for the life so that’s kind of how we distinguish between the two terms.[00:02:10] And you make pretty much every effort possible that even if an animal is hit by a car you make every effort possible to bring that animal back. [00:02:18] We do we we’ve been lucky enough to put those type of emergencies at the very front of her medical issues so if they have dental work to do it needs to be done it gets done if they’ve been hit by a car and a limb has to be removed it gets removed I remove those treated seven heartworm positive dogs last year and at a cost about twelve hundred dollars per dog. And these are simple things that could have been prevented. And the outcome is usually you know 100 percent of their life so we put all of her a lot of her funds into those type of animals.
[00:02:51] OK so your shelter has grown. How many employees do you have now at D’Arcy’s Animal rescue Centre?. [00:02:54] Eight employees and a boat. Eighty five volunteers that come through every week. We could not do this project without all the volunteers that we have coming in every week to help us out. What kind of funding support do you get funding we don’t get any funding whatsoever so we don’t get any government and or city funding any provincial funding we rely on the public to help support us. People always think that when you’re adopting older animals you’re making a lot of money. There is absolutely no money to be made. And when you’re adopting out homeless animals the price that you pay for the adoption is only a fraction of the cost we put into the animal. We’re hoping with the public support is what covers the rest of the bill. We also have a retail part to our facility as well which is very busy. And it’s not my passion the retail part of it selling pet supplies. However I need it to sustain the organization and it does very well. What pays basically all those bills that the adoptions can’t pay which is all the bills and it covers that kind of stuff you have on the retail side of everything is like a regular pet store. We don’t go full detail because I want to just have the basics so people I want to make it one stop. You know adoption shop is what I wanted to do. [00:04:04] So people come in they adopt an animal we have the leashes and collars we have the litter boxes the scratching points to get a free bag of food the shelter cat toys carriers we have all those basics there. We do sell some good quality food at the shelter. We are sponsored by Rokan foods. They feed the shelter and in turn we send a bag of food home with every adoption city license is free with the adoption and six weeks free health insurance as well. [00:04:32] What kind of range of animals do usually have there. I noticed that a lot of shelter animals at the Humane Society are either Rottweilers or German Shepherds it just seems to be a common breed that ends up there. Do you have like the hypoallergenic and the small to medium stuff as well. Working in a shelter environment. [00:04:49] You were accepting homeless animals off the street. Is our goal. We normally won’t take in and own pets. We deal with a lot of reserve dogs and a lot of dogs in the country. So you’re getting a lot of Shepherd crosses Huskey crosses through the shelters. People aren’t really disposing their hypoallergenic dogs and disposing a little Chihuahuas. We see a few of those but you don’t see them very often. We work with the province the province is shutting down bad breeders and bad people that are abusing their animals. So we may get those smaller dogs into our facility from the province because we do work with them when they shut down like a puppy. Yes. So an illegal operation so the city shuts another the province shut them down and we’ll take in a lot of those animals so we will have some purebreds in the facility. Right now we have a purebred ragdoll in the facility. So we do get them sometimes we’ll get 20 30 at a time from a breeder or we won’t have any. So going back to talking about your funding one of your sources I know is your thrift store. Yes. Tell us a little bit about. Yes. We also opened up a thrift store. It’s just celebrated its ninth year anniversary and it’s a thrift store where people can donate household items. Good used clothing. Some pet supplies if they want small furnitures furniture and we sell it at the superstore and then the proceeds come back to the shelter to help support it. It’s a busy little store on Main Street. [00:06:10] What’s the address. Ten seventy six main street. OK. What’s the most popular item that you sell. Well Poppy is clothing we move a lot of clothing at the thrift store and we move a lot of pet supplies we buy a lot of pet supplies donated that we just can’t use. I mean somebody will drop off you know 20 leashes values 5 of them. And what am I going to do with the rest of them so they go over to a thrift store and they’re sold their housewares and clothing are the biggest sellers saucers that kind of stuff. You know how many animals a year does Daryn. He’s an animal rescue center help. Last year we took in just under a thousand animals at all cities and we adopted just over 800. So. So there’s always animals there’s anywhere from 150 to 180 living at the facility at any given time. But they come in and we actually moved over here. So it was kind of nice to see the dolphins are still happening. It’s a lot of competition out there in the city of Winnipeg for animal adoption and we’re all still competing for charitable donations as well. But we were able to move quite a few of them. [00:07:09] Now what does it mean to be a registered charity. [00:07:12] We’re registered charity so if you want it to make a donation to the animal charity D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre we can issue a tax receipt. So whether it’s a cash donation or whether it’s a gift in kind we can issue a tax receipt at the end of the year for that donation and it’s donations that are 20 dollars or over right. Yes yes and we’re governed by revenue candidates. [00:07:31] Everything’s put through them and we keep things up board with the thrift store where do people drop stuff off if they want to. At her thrift store we we appreciate them dropping off at 10 76 Main Street location. What do you want to see and what you don’t want to see. Because you know sometimes the stuff dropped off becomes a chore for you. [00:07:47] Thrift Store is a thrift store and we keep the BFI landfill you know organization in business people think you know if the TV is broken we’ll fix it. We just don’t have the resources and we don’t fix these thing. You don’t want any more VCR. Well VCR still sells we don’t want any broken VCR clothing with the zippers are broken it cost 20 30 dollars to fix a zipper these days so we just don’t if you want to fix them go ahead Blanket’s with holes in them. You know our blank is that your dog has chewed. We just don’t want to see those things gently used the gently used as is a term we use most of the items get washed before they’re put out on the rack. But again we’ve seen some of the odd items like false teeth and things like that. I’m [00:08:38] coming by to get them to my year’s. I guess you could try the MA to see if they actually the yeah but it’s just kind of kind of gross I’ve been looking for a Christmas gift from my dad. It’s a conversation starter anyway. So you have it out on the desk at your Christmas party. [00:08:57] The other thing that’s important to note is your thrift store 100 percent of your proceeds go to support the charity after the rent is paid. [00:09:07] And I’ve got a manager there and two part time employees the rest are volunteers. Once those expenses are paid and expenses are quite low because everything gets donated so it’s kind of a new concept. And after that it goes back to the to the charity which is which is nice it’s it helps us quite a bit. That’s awesome. Now tell us a bit about Donald the charity mascot darn dog d’Arnaud. You know he’s a dog we got in just over two years ago now. He was from the reserve and he was hit by a car and the owners left them in the yard for five or six days. So eventually somebody reported it that there was an injured dog in the yard and the province intervened. They took the dog away they brought him to us. And by that time we couldn’t set the leg it was too badly infected. We tried. I actually have a picture of him with four legs and we just removed his leg. And with animals that’s kind of neat they just get up and go. You know they don’t have to worry about missing the lamb or what will they look like or anything like that to just get up and go. And he he’s quite a needy dog. He likes to have people around him. And as we were nursing him back through his surgery you know we kind of get bonded to him as well because you’re constantly with him he likes to be brash. [00:10:15] He loves his belly rubs and and at the time you know we had just lost our shelter dog and the girls were after the staffer asking me to you know we need somebody else around and I wanted somebody else around the shelter as well. And I guess he got selected. The first few months were difficult because he he thinks that shopping in the pet store was something he could do every day and steal toys and he thought the treats her drive through service for him. And in one week he spent over 400 dollars in the shelter himself. But he’s really good. He’s a really good ambassador. He is so easygoing. He loves everybody and anybody. He’s kids and going to events he met a live turkey at an event we were at. And llamas and horses and goats and didn’t have a problem I had a problem with the plane flying over top but not the animals. And he goes to a lot of events with us and he just hangs out with people and he’s just that easy going so he’s he’s starting to earn his keep you know golf tournaments the Tallas company will pick picnic. He’s had his own fashion show. He sold 10 cars at St. James Volkswagen. You know he is busy. And people are actually calling goes to schools a lot. He reads books to kids and he does polygraphs and people are actually calling to book him now which is kind of interesting. So you better hope he doesn’t get in a real estate or go on vacation. [00:11:34] You know I’ve done all those homes actually on that note. [00:11:39] You know as I’m a big supporter of D’arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre message out there to anybody who’s looking to buy or sell a house or a condo. I will donate 250 dollars to Darcys. Every time you use me for every transaction and to that effort Darcy I’m very happy to hand you a check today for 200 dollars because two of your supporters, Victoria and Terry just bought a house with me.
super super thank you.
You’re welcome it’s my pleasure.[00:12:04] Darcy Johnston is from D’arcy’s animal rescue centre. Darcy how can people reach you if they want to help out and get involved. [00:12:11] They can come down the shelter at 730 be century street online. We have her own website to our Facebook page is crazy. It’s constantly active active. I’m surprised I’m not a big Facebook fan but we post that account with two crooked teeth in his mouth and in two days he had 16000 hits. Yes you know he’s gone home now to have pictures of the viral ones. Exactly. And puppy pictures people just you know glued. [00:12:36] And actually you were telling me one time it’s actually the animals that have the flaw like you know the missing leg or something like that of the crooked teeth that actually get adopted the handicapped animals that get a home the fastest if they’re missing ears or tails to the frost bite they’re missing a leg. [00:12:51] Joaquin has two crooked teeth in the front that go you know Jagat. And they have one eye. They get a home before anybody else. So people whether they feel sorry for them or these type of animals that just you know grab them you know as they go by and they’re are wonderful animals and they get a home the fastest so well Darcy thank you very much for joining us today. It’s been fun it’s been fun. [00:13:14] Thank you for having me. Ask the experts is a monthly feature on the real estate roundtable to hear the latest full episodes of the show go to iTunes or stitcher dot com and search for that page real estate podcast.