Pamela Anderson Lucie Cerny
(Pamela Anderson, left, meets with Lucie Cerny, founder of RASTA Sanctuary/Facebook)

A local animal rescue sanctuary got a helping hand this week from none other than Pamela Anderson, who took up a sledgehammer to help out.

Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals (RASTA), has been operating since 2001 as a no-kill rescue society in Chemainus that houses abandoned or abused animals. They had been trying to raise funds to replace an old barn for their animals since 2018.

The organization described the barn as “rotting into the ground” and said it was becoming a safety concern for their animals. They also said it was of inadequate size for the number of animals they were trying to house.

Over two years later, with the barn still not replaced, RASTA received a special visit from Anderson.

The Ladysmith-born actor visited RASTA near the end of October and learned of the sanctuary’s struggles with construction costs and COVID-19.

“She surprised us by returning a few hours later that same day with her partner Dan Hayhurst, a local builder, to have a closer look at our dilapidated old barn and to discuss our plans for replacing it,” RASTA wrote on their Facebook page on November 3.

“After hearing about the many challenges we’ve faced with the recent mill strikes, covid, and most recently some massively inflated construction prices which have made building the barn out of our financial reach, Ms. Anderson and her partner then expressed their interest in wanting to help make our dream come true!”

On Tuesday November 10, Anderson returned to the sanctuary and personally struck the first blow in the demolition of the old barn, in a live video posted to RASTA’s Facebook page.

Lucie Cerny, the founder of RASTA,┬ácalled Anderson’s support and donation a “dream come true.”

“A lot of times, I get emotional, because it is such a huge, huge, thing, such a tremendous gift, an absolutely life-changing experience for the sanctuary that’s going to help so many animals,” Cerny said in the live video of the demolition.

“There aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to express the complete, utter gratitude that we have for this amazing, amazing gift.”