The existing barn at RASTA Sanctuary is in need of a replacement. (Cole Schisler photo)

The existing barn at RASTA Sanctuary is in need of a replacement. (Cole Schisler photo)

Pamela Anderson pledges to help build barn for Vancouver Island farm animal rescue

RASTA Sanctuary in Chemainus B.C. thought a new barn was out of reach until Pamela Anderson arrived

Lucie Cerny has been operating Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals — a sanctuary for farm animals retired from the agricultural industry — for the past 20 years. In all that time, she never imagined she’d meet Ladysmith’s most famous resident, Pamela Anderson.

“It was an absolute honour, one truly beyond words to have the opportunity to host Ms. Anderson, her partner and their young son at our humble little Sanctuary here in Chemainus,” Cerny said in a Facebook post.

Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

Anderson said she was moved by the work that Cerny is doing at RASTA.

“I was delighted and impressed by the peacefulness, happiness of the animals living in communities — not separated like a lot of sanctuaries have,” she said.

RELATED: Pamela Anderson returns home to enjoy ‘peace and solitude’ of Ladysmith

“It says so much about Lucie and her small group of dedicated volunteers. These are rescued vulnerable farm animals. Saved from slaughterhouses and other cruel terrible lives. It’s a mini heaven. It is emotional to be there. I look around and I can feel the effort put in to the design of the property. What’s gone into making the animals feel safe and loved. Lucie is an angel.”

Cerny gave Anderson a tour of the property, and after introducing Anderson the various animals at RASTA, pointed out the aging barn that RASTA has been working to replace.

The barn lacks a foundation and is sinking into the earth. It also lacks a proper roof. RASTA has fundraised for the last two years, and managed to raise $100,000 for a new barn. A previous builder had given a quote of $150,000, but after a lengthy mill strike and the pandemic, the new quote soared to $450,000.

“That completely utterly gutted us,” Cerny said.

RASTA was further gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the sanctuary to cancel their farm tours — a major source of funding for the charity.

Outside of farm tours, one of the main fundraisers for RASTA has been sales of a farm calendar. Cerny had hoped that Anderson would sign one of the RASTA 20th anniversary calendars, but Anderson blew Cerny away when she offered to help replace the aging barn.

“I get goosebumps. I get kind of choked up honestly,” Cerny said. “To have somebody of that incredible status to take an interest in what RASTA is and what RASTA has been doing, it was such a tremendous honour to have that validation from someone I look up to so much.”

A few hours later, Anderson returned with her partner Dan Hayhurst — a local builder with DHS Homes. Hayhurst happily agreed to take on the project.

RELATED: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

“I was happy and even surprised when Dan told her he’d do it. Now, He is obsessed. He’s making calls everyday. Organizing/reviewing plans etc,” Anderson said. “I love it. I love to turn people on to charity. To do things from the heart and for no other reason. It’s what makes life worthwhile.”

The couple has pledged to do the entire project for a budget of $100,000. Hayhurst has set about finding materials for discounted prices, and has drawn together a talented team to help with the project.

“It’s amazed me how generous this community of people are — all you have to do is ask. Gifts of materials for the build are tax deductible. Services are not. I’m happy to help out free of charge. I’m not expecting anything out of this, but a few happy, healthy animals,” he said.

Hayhurst said that in a few short months, Cerny will have a brand new barn.

Once completed, the barn will house rescued birds, hay, feed, and will act as a quarantine space for new arrivals to RASTA. As it stands now, Cerny keeps the hay in her carport, the feed in her basement, and has a quarantine space in her home for new arrivals.

RASTA Sanctuary is still in need of donations to cover the costs of care for their animals. RASTA is a registered Canadian charity, any donations to RASTA are tax deductible.

For their part, Anderson and Hayhurst said that they are on the hunt for other opportunities to give back to the community.

RELATED: Very Good Butchers team up with Pamela Anderson Foundation to support plant-based eating

“We’re looking forward to doing other helpful projects in town,” Hayhurst said. “Pamela always has her eyes peeled. Not sure what I got myself into, but I love it.”

Pamela Anderson and her partner Dan Hayhurst say they're looking to do more community projects in the future. (Submitted photo)
Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 20 is now open but conditions are still challenging (Dawson Road Maintenance photo)
Some customers still without power as additional crews brought in to help

Trees continued to fall onto lines even after the actual storm had passed

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, & 26th November 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10 (file photo)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Acwsalcta School

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, & 26th November 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10.

A convoy of vehicles passes through Heckman Pass on Highway 20 as cleanup operations continued Saturday. Dawson Road Maintenance is asking motorists to watch for crews and equipment working throughout the area. (Dawson Road Maintenance photo/Facebook)
Highway 20 reopens between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola after winter storm Friday

“We appreciate your patience as we continue to clear wood debris and widen sections of the road.”

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Winter storm closes 4 Mile to downtown road in Bella Coola

Police it will remain closed until Saturday, at least

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Most Read