A Kingston couple has so far raised over 400 lbs of food for their furry friends at the Kingston Humane Society (KHS) with their Christmas-themed ‘fill the sled’ campaign.
Pierre and Tiffany Fleury garnered a lot of attention with their Christmas display last year. In fact, Tiffany explained, The Kingston Trolley Tours Christmas Light Tour came by their home on Braelorne Place, across from Archbishop O’Sullivan School, dozens of times. So this year, they thought maybe they could channel that excitement to the advantage of their favourite charity.
In the spring of 2022, Pierre came home with an old sleigh, recalled Tiffany. “I don’t even know where he found it, online somewhere. We refurbished it all and we painted it up, and he decided that was going on the front lawn. So a month or so ago, we were talking about what we could do… Maybe with all the traffic we get, we could do something good for the animals.”
The family set out to have those in the community ‘fill the sled’ with donations for the Humane Society. And Tiffany said she is shocked at how well their plan has been received.
“It’s been going incredible; beyond our wildest dreams,” she exclaimed, explaining, “My husband decided fairly arbitrarily that he wanted 400 pounds of food, by Christmas. So we are less than a week in and we’re already at 430 pounds of food, and over $400 in cash. And then that doesn’t include all the treats and towels and litter and, just so much other stuff. It’s incredible.”
The Fleurys have three cats, two of whom are from KHC, and Tiffany said she thinks most people care about animal welfare and want to help out where they can. She also shared that her husband is kind of a neighbourhood Santa: “He’s the force behind all this for sure…He definitely is a kid in spirit. We have two kids in their 30s and they haven’t given us any grandkids yet. He does a lot of this for the neighbour’s grandchildren, he’s kind of pseudo-adopted them and he put one of Santa’s blow moulds on the neighbour’s deck so whenever the grandchildren are over, he’ll put a little present underneath Santa for them.”
For those with the Humane Society, the local campaign dreamt up by area residents is nothing short of holiday magic — and couldn’t come at a more perfect time.
We can’t thank Pierre and the Fleury family enough for what they’re doing on behalf of the animals,” said Gord Hunter, Executive Director of KHS.
“It’s been such a tough year. We’ve had more animals than at any other time in our history and to know that people like the Fleurys are out there raising awareness and filling a sleigh with donations helps so much.”
Throughout 2022, the Humane Society has dealt with a consistently high number of animals in their care, the effects of COVID-19 on maintaining regular operations, and extensive repairs after a leaky roof threw another wrench in the gears. Hunter shared that, currently the Humane Society only has two kennels open for dogs, a rather remarkable shortage of space considering that, on average, they receive two dogs in need of care from bylaw enforcement alone each week. The kind and helpful gesture of the Fleury family is the sort of thing that keeps he and his team going, he expressed.
“Pierre and his family are amazing, and Kingston, as a community, supports us without hesitation. Sometimes, we’re so focused on caring for over 300 animals a day that we don’t have the opportunity to properly thank people,” said Hunter.
“So, thanks to the Fleurys and to everybody else that has stepped up to drop off donations to fill the sleigh. You’re helping us save animals and that’s pretty incredible.”
The Fleurys will be accepting donations right up to Christmas and encourage everyone to share a little good cheer with the fuzzy friends at the KHC by dropping off donations at their home on Braelorne Place in Kingston, just east of the intersection of Bayridge Drive and Taylor Kidd Boulevard.
“There’s only about 10 homes here,” Tiffany said of her street. “You can’t miss it!”