With a farm full of animals, Phillip Primavera said he needs a lot of feed.
He was a regular customer of the Great Haliburton Feed Co., a convenient local supplier. When the store announced it was closing, Primavera said he tried to buy it, but a deal could not be worked out.
Instead, Primavera opted to start a new business, Haliburton Feed and Seed, which opened Nov. 1. Besides providing farm supplies and feed, it will help re-home animals of all kinds, much like the Feed Co. used to do.
“We’re not doing this to get rich,” Primavera said. “We’re doing this to help the community out and the animals.”
Primavera is no stranger to animals. His wife Minna owns The Wild Life, a petting zoo and equestrian centre. Through their farm and new store on Mallard Road, they plan to help rehome all kinds of animals.
“We saw this opportunity, thought this is a good idea,” Primavera said. “The town needs it.”
The new operation brings some relief for Don Kerr of Minden Cat Angels and Jenny Northey of Paulmac’s Pets. The Minden-based operations have received more calls from Haliburton to take on cats since the Great Haliburton Feed. Co closed.
Kerr said that closure left a gap in the county, which the new store could help address.
“We need all the help we can get,” Kerr said. “This is great news for us.”
Northey said although it was a light summer, there was an explosion of approximately 30 kittens in the fall, about two to three times more than usual.
People failing to spay and neuter their pets remains a persistent
problem, Northey said. To that end, she tried to help bring a mobile clinic
into the area this year, but funding dried up. She added she hopes to bring one
next year and plans to appeal to the government for funding.
“Some people here don’t drive and if you can’t drive your animal to the vet, how are you ever going to get it spayed or neutered?” she said, adding costs are also a barrier.
Kerr said it is a lot of hard work for their groups to take care of all the abandoned cats. He said people need to understand a pet is a commitment – one that requires stopping their reproduction.
“They have to realize it’s a lifetime obligation,” Kerr said. “If they can’t afford to get them spayed or neutered, then don’t take them in.”
“In my opinion, it’s getting better, but there’s still a lot to get done,” Primavera said. “You’re never going to change the way people do things, but I think it can definitely be helped.”