Dogs and their owners will be putting their paws to the pavement this weekend to help their furry friends in need.
On Saturday, the annual BC SPCA Paws for a Cause fundraiser is taking place at Birchbank Park and Danielle Jackman, manager of the Trail branch of the SPCA, says the event is going raise money and awareness for the shelter and even give your pets a day out in the park with friends.
“It is about raising funds for homeless, abused and neglected animals,” she said. “We try to advocate and prevent (abuse of animals). We also find that it is really good for dog socialization. There aren’t very many opportunities to do that with so many dogs (in one spot).”
Jackman says animal abuse isn’t a huge issue in the Trail area, but there are a few cases that require intervention from the SPCA.
“We mostly have minor things that can be resolved with education,” she said. “We just try and get out there and let people know the needs of their animals such as food, water and shelter. Even if it is a major case, we always start with education to see if we can resolve the situation first, but unfortunately, there are other situations where we have to step in further.”
Funds raised at this weekend’s Paws for a Cause event will not only go towards education on animal needs, but will also go towards shelter operations and community presence.
“All funds raised locally will stay local,” said Jackman. “It is a big benefit for the animals in our community and it not only will help animals, but will help provide for the programs that we offer.”
Those public programs include spaying and neutering, food banks and presentations in schools.
“If we get a litter of kittens in, we can offer to spay or neuter the adult cats,” explained Jackman. “(The money) helps anytime we are in the community.”
The Saturday afternoon event is going to be filled with activities for both dogs and families including demonstrations in obedience training, agility, herding and tricks.
“We are going to have different demonstrations and competitions such as nose work and agility and then we give you and your dog the opportunity to try an agility course,” said Jackman. “We also have a couple of games we are going to do including a tricks game, musical sits, best trick contest and more.”
For the human guests at Paws for a Cause, there is going to be live entertainment, pizza, fresh baked goods, a raffle and a market-style set up with animal themed booths.
The afternoon will end of with a walk and some participants have been pledging for weeks already.
To donate to the cause, Jackman says the easiest way is to visit the event website and pledge.
“There isn’t a lot of time left, but if you register online, it is the fastest way to collect those pledges because you can just share it so much easier to those both near and far,” she said. “If people can’t come, they can to our website as well and pick a participant and pledger them online or just directly to the shelter.”
Jackman says the Trail branch of the SPCA wouldn’t be able to do the work they do without community support and through events like this one.
“The SPCA is really just a small organization and we couldn’t make it out there (on our own) making sure that animals are taken care of,” she said. “We wouldn’t be able to do that without everyone’s voice. We can’t do it alone. As much as there are individuals out there, it takes a whole community to take care of things.”
The event starts with activities and registration at 11 a.m. on Saturday and runs until 2 p.m. with the walk at 1 p.m. Jackman hopes everyone can make it out to support the shelter.
“I just hope that everyone can come out and join us for the day, but if not, please pledge online and help us make the event as big as it can be,” she said.
For more information, visit www.spca.bc.ca/branches/trail or call the shelter at 250-368-5910.