Prior to the first dog stepping foot onto the Albion Fairgrounds, the Paws for a Cause charity walk was well on its way to being a success.
“Before we even hit the ground today we had reached 72 per cent of our [fundraising] target,” said Jennifer York, shelter manager for the Maple Ridge SPCA.
The walk, which brings in $1 million dollars province-wide every year, is the biggest fundraiser in B.C. for animals.
Couple that with the huge head start in donations and the strong turnout, and York was confident that their goal of $10,000 would easily be surpassed.
For a shelter like the one in Maple Ridge, every dollar counts, she explained.
“We’re one of the busier, but smaller shelters,” said York. “This money will really help us for quite some time.”
The $10,000 alone would be enough to supply almost all her vaccine needs for the year, York added.
Communities throughout B.C. have been great sources of support for their local shelters, said York, leading to a strong year for everyone.
For York, whose mixed Belgian shepherd Clara “keeps [her] on [her] toes,” having a pet is integral to the family experience.
They become a member of the family, and she believes children can learn important lessons about sharing and empathy through interacting with them.
“I don’t think any family is complete without a pet, but that might just be me,” she added.
However, given the attendance of this year’s walk, York is probably in good company.
Dozens of owners and their pets took in the agility demonstrations, doggie dance routines, and musical guests.
“We’ve seen a ton of people, a ton of animals,” she said.
Even Trooper, a golden retriever who made headlines several years ago as a rallying cry against animal abuse, was spotted participating.
“It’s been a blast. Everybody’s dogs have been really well behaved, which is always good,” she said.
As successful as York felt the event was, the shelter isn’t done fundraising yet. Online donations are still being accepted, and York is already looking towards another fundraiser – this time a more intimate an art, wine and cheese event, called Art for Animals, at the ACT on Nov. 22.
Tickets are available at the Maple Ridge shelter, 10235 Jackson Rd. or by phone at 604-463-9511.
“We’re hoping to just smash our target,” she said.
@ Copyright 2013