Golinia's Recognized by Province for 30+ Years Saving Wildlife

Brittany Webster

30 years, 6 months, and 10 days is how long Nancy and Gunther Golinia have been saving wildlife throughout Northern BC, and this weekend the province will be recognizing their years of service.

The Golinia's are 2019 recipients of the BC Achievement Community Award, an award that celebrates the people who have gone above and beyond in serving the community and inspire by example.

As operators of the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter, the Golinia's have helped save the lives of animals big and small, from kittens and hummingbirds to deer and pythons, and on days like today they are awoken at 4 AM by the phone with a call about an animal in need. Their days may be long, but they love the work they do.

"It's not easy," Gunther stated. "People say we do so much work, and I said you know what, if you look upon it as work it becomes work. But if you look upon it as a challenge, that's what we've called it."

As grateful as they are for the recognition of their service, Nancy says the support they really need is help for the animals.

"It's nice, but that's an ego trip. The animals don't need us to have an ego trip, they need food, they need medication, they need money."

At 82 and 88 years old, the Golinia's have been using their savings to keep the shelter running as only 20 per cent of their funding comes from donations.

More than anything right now, they need antibiotics for the 75 patients currently in their care, and are asking people to send any of their leftovers to the shelter.

But despite struggles with finances and lack of volunteers, Gunther says they refuse to turn down a challenge.

"Nancy can't say no, I can't say no. Are we crazy? Of course."

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice will be at the shelter to present the Golinia's with a certificate and medallion in recognition of their service at 3pm on Saturday.

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