ORA Letter from the Founder


ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals is entirely run by volunteers. Therefore, volunteers are essential to ORA’s work. National Volunteer Week offers us an opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who contribute their time and efforts to save animals’ lives.

We wish to publicly thank several volunteers who have provided a particular, valid contribution:

Corinne Thaw, one of the co-founders of ORA, who, despite having undergone a radical cancer surgery and debilitating chemotherapy in 2010, has continued taking care of ORA’s dogs: cleaning after them, grooming them, feeding them healthy food, and walking them for one to two hours a day in forested areas to ensure their happiness and well-being.

Edna Gharakhanian, who has always been available on short notice to help at fundraising events, even changing, when needed, her work schedule. Edna has also personally contributed to sterilize stray cats and, she has prepared numerous gourmet dinners for ORA’s cats and dogs!

Young and Kay Ko, who own a cleaning company, and although overwhelmed with work themselves, still find the time, twice a week, to clean the cat areas for us at ORA's residential sanctuary.

Joyce Luckasawitch, a former volunteer who fulfilled several hours of volunteer work every Saturday: cleaning, feeding the cats, bathing and walking the dogs, and doing many other necessary tasks around ORA.

Clara Speer, who has been doing an enormous amount of work raising awareness for ORA’s needs through social media and other online venues since fundraising for ORA's Project Cat Den.

Renate Simon, who has been actively working on ORA’s current website (http://ora-animalsrescue.org) and Petfinder pages, maintaining, promptly adding and updating the content, as needed.

Although unnamed, we thank all the many other volunteers that, either sporadically or on a regular basis, volunteer at events, volunteer with office duty, volunteer by fostering cat and dogs, volunteer by grooming dogs, and volunteer with any other of the many large and small tasks needed to carry on the work of rescuing animals: caring for the un-adoptable ones, educating and advocating for animal rights, and promoting animal welfare in the Greater Toronto Area.

Claudia Vecchio, Founder
ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals


In this season of giving, we hope that you will give or renew your support to ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals and donate generously. Our letter is reaching you late this year as our time has been taken by rescue work and an unusually high workload with the animals at the sanctuary.

ORA is a grass-roots organization; we do not have professional fundraisers nor do we hire professional marketers for our direct mail. We are all volunteers who spend long hours, after work, to care for the hundreds of animals we assist every year. We are writing to you with one heart to let you know what we have done in 2011, and to ask you to help us with your financial contribution so that we can save the lives of many more animals in the upcoming year. While we are willing to work for these deserving animals, we rely on donations to fund the essential medical care of the animals we rescue and pay for the pet food and supplies needed to feed an average of 150 rescued animals in our care at any given time.

Every day we receive numerous calls and e-mails from people asking for our help with cats or dogs in distress. We cannot take in every animal ourselves, but we do our best to provide help depending on the availability of space and resources. Every day the balance wavers between darkness and light for the homeless, abused and abandoned animals in our city. Although we cannot tell you that there is always a happy ending for every animal, here are a just a few of ORA’s animal success stories this year that we are particularly proud of and would like to share with you:

Woman dies of heart failure: no relative willing to take her cats. Animal control is at the door, ready to remove and take her 28 cats to the pound. ORA INTERVENES AND SAVE THEM ALL!

“Hamilton High Kill Pound - Scheduled to be killed the following day: Luc, Benny, Monte and Leo are spending their last hours in a small cage. Monte is six years old, the other cats are less than one year old, yet an “X” has been placed on their chart: their sentence is death. Just two hours left to the closing of the pound... ORA SAVES THEM!

Beau, a sweet seven month old cat is languishing with a untreated wound in his left back paw. His digits are exposed as the gangrene his eating up his flesh. ORA is notified, and Beau is transported to the vet, where a digit falls off on the examining table. Beau's situation is life threatening. After a week on three different kinds of antibiotics, the infection in his blood is controlled and his back leg (left) is amputated. THE VET BILL IS VERY HIGH; ORA HAS TO BORROW, BUT BEAU’S LIFE IS SAVED!

Now Beau, fully recovered, has learned to walk, play and run on his three legs and he is enjoying a pampered life with his new adoptive mom, sharing the house with two other cats and a small friendly dog. Beau is the image of happiness.

We could also mention the heartbreaking stories of Coco, the Chihuahua, insensibly abandoned by his owners, or Toby the Third, a Cockapoo traumatized for two years by three young children and finally abandoned when, angered by the continued abuses, Toby decided to fight back.

And we should never forget the heartbreaking stories of Charlotte, Bella, Julius, Sylvie, Black Beauty and many more cats and dogs who were victims of cruelty, heartlessness or neglect… alive and well today thanks to the work of ORA.

Many animal organizations may have asked you for help this holiday season. What makes ORA different? Why should you donate to ORA? ORA is the only organization in the Greater Toronto Area that is strictly no kill, all volunteer run and indiscriminately rescues cats and dogs of all breeds. This means that there is no money paid to staff or any occupancy costs; all of the money donated goes directly to the animals. We are also not a breed specific rescue, we rescue all breeds of dogs and all cats, giving priority, in fact, to special needs animals. We are strictly no kill: meaning that no animal ever gets euthanized unless he or she is terminally ill and in pain.

We have given all we had to give. Fueled by commitment and love for the animals, we have done the impossible with our limited resources. We have opened our house to the animals in need and made it into a sanctuary for the unadoptable; we have given many hours of our time after a long workday to care, medicate, clean and feed the animals in our care, going till dawn if need be; we gladly contribute all the money we can to the cause, but still it is not enough. If you think that what we are doing is valuable and that these lives are worth saving, please help us. Please help us to help the defenseless, abused, neglected, and homeless cats and dogs in 2012. Your donation will save lives!

We hope that 2012 will be a brighter year for the animals and that more people will be touched by the unselfish virtue of compassion.

On behalf of the rescued animals that you are helping and have helped with your support, and on behalf of all of ORA's volunteers, we wish you and your loved ones a very, Merry Christmas and a serene, prosperous and healthy 2012.

Claudia Vecchio
Volunteer Chairperson

ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals
"For the love and respect of all animals."
www.ora-animalsrescue.org | VecchioCT@aol.com | 416 726 5762 | 416-726-8895