Event organizer Sarah Fulcher shared her pencil drawing with her Belgian shepherd

Art Bark fetches support for SPCA

Saturday's fundraising event at the Riverbelle features food, live entertainment and a silent auction. The evening starts at 5:30pm.

A Trail animal lover has mixed an evening of art and entertainment together to raise funds for the Trail Regional SPCA.

Sarah Fulcher, owner of Barks and Recreation Services in Trail, is gearing up for Art Bark to be held Saturday at the Riverbelle.

The fundraising event features a roast beef and pasta buffet, a silent auction boasting local artists like Rosslanders Stephanie Gauvin and Jenny Bailie’s animal and nature inspired work and live entertainment from Jason Thomas, Kate Shaw School of Highland Dance, and Mystic Dreams Dancers.

More importantly, the gathering is an opportunity to commend the Trail branch and provide funding for the regional service that survives on donations.

“I just hope that people want to come out and try something new and support the community, they will be supporting the SPCA but they’ll also be supporting all the artists and musicians donating, too,” said Fulcher.

With the help of husband Cameron Dixon, Fulcher’s business offers group and private dog training, dog walking, pet sitting and daycare, as well as pet photography and portraits artistically rendered by Dixon.

Fulcher is a certified dog behaviour consultant with a soft spot for rescue animals. She started sled-dog rescue network HEART (Husky Emergency Adoption, Rescue and Transport), which she fosters for nowadays, and currently sits on Trail’s SPCA community council, which does fundraising, advocacy and educational presentations.

“Specifically the local group that runs the shelter here is fantastic,” she said. “They are really well-educated, they’re all passionate and dedicated, they do a really good job in our community on the education and awareness side and they really care about animals.”

She’s pleased to note that the local branch works hard at ensuring all the animals that wind up at the shelter are adopted, holding one of the highest adoption rates in the province.

And when there are dogs that arrive with behavioural issues, the team at the branch works diligently to show the animal the right way through training and at times a foster program with Fulcher.

“We’ve been able to work with some dogs that have behavioural problems that maybe wouldn’t be adoptable in other shelters,” she said. “We network and do training to help these dogs find a home.”

But the expense of running an aging shelter that is in need of constant repairs along with regular expenses such as neutering has pushed Fulcher and other council members to start up Art Bark, which is hoped to continue as an annual event much like Paws for a Cause in September.

For those who can’t attend but would like to contribute to the cause, the group is accepting pre-bids on auctioned items via telephone, email or Facebook, where the goods are pictured on the Art Bark page.

Tickets are available at Barks and Rec, Scotiabank, Trail SPCA and Casa di Cioccolato in Trail; Tails Pet Supplies in Rossland and Mountain FM in Castlegar.

Organizers are hoping those who wish to attend will purchase their ticket by today to allow the cooks enough time to organize the meal accordingly. Tickets can be purchased at the door for those only wanting to take in the auction and entertainment but not for a reduced price.

The evening starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Riverbelle. For more information visit the Facebook event page, email info@bnrbc.ca or call 521-2275.

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