A New Brunswick woman who packed up her life and headed off to the Caribbean to help rescue animals is home for Christmas and sharing her stories.
Charlene Penney, who is from Riverview, N.B., is a huge animal lover.
She’s not a fan of the cold weather, either, which is why she chose to move to Saint Lucia with her fiance Yasha Troubetzkoy in 2010.
For several years now, Penney has been working to rescue dogs and cats in the island nation before finding them new homes.
“You see a lot of animals in the streets, in the gutters, dogs getting hit by cars, puppies in the road. So it is definitely a different lifestyle,” she said.
In 2014, she launched Help Animal Welfare in Saint Lucia or Helpaws. The organization has adopted out more than 400 animals in the past year, as well as offered free spay and neuter clinics for people who can’t afford them.
“I just kind of started rescuing dogs and cats. I mean, they really just found me, they would show up at our gate,” she said.
After Helpaws rehabilitates the animals, many are sent on a flight to Toronto to meet their new families, which have been approved for adoption.
Penney’s father, Glenn, says he’s proud of everything she’s accomplished.
“To nurture them back to the conditions that they were in, to a healthy puppy or kitten, and to see the love and kindness that she’s shown them is remarkable — very proud of the work that she does,” he said.
With files from Callum Smith
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