Community

SPCA volunteer 'raising the roof'

Tom Burton, a former SPCA volunteer dog walker, and his dog Violet, who Burton adopted from the SPCA are the best of friends. Burton has orchestrated a new fundraiser through Save-On-Foods to help the SPCA raise money to build a new shelter. - Kristen Douglas/The Mirror
Tom Burton, a former SPCA volunteer dog walker, and his dog Violet, who Burton adopted from the SPCA are the best of friends. Burton has orchestrated a new fundraiser through Save-On-Foods to help the SPCA raise money to build a new shelter.
— image credit: Kristen Douglas/The Mirror

When Tom Burton signed up to help volunteer with the Campbell River SPCA he figured it would be an opportunity to be around some of the animals and get some light exercise.

But what he ended up with is a friend for life.

Burton, who was a volunteer dog walker with the SPCA for just over a year, fell in love with Violet, a three-year-old Hungarian vizsla and redbone coonhound cross, who lived at the shelter.

“She was picked up as a stray,” Burton said. “I started walking her and I saw the potential in that dog.”

Burton said he was attracted to her spunky personality.

“She was an escape artist,” Burton said. “She climbed a six-foot chain link fence to get into Buster’s (a pit bull that’s since been adopted) kennel to play with him. So I fostered her and then I adopted her.”

Burton is so thankful for the SPCA and the animal welfare services it provided in Campbell River that he’s trying to give back to SPCA.

Burton has visited several big box stores in Campbell River to drum up some support for a donation program to the Campbell River SPCA Building Fund – an account set up by the BC SPCA at Scotia Bank for money earmarked to go towards a shelter owned and operated by the SPCA.

Burton approached Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Home Hardware, London Drugs, Save-On-Foods, Staples, Target, Thrifty’s, and Wal-Mart but so far has only received a definite response from one of those stores.

“Save-On-Foods jumped on the bandwagon immediately,” Burton said.

“Save-On-Foods got back to me in three days. They’re terrific, absolutely terrific.”

What the store is doing to help is allowing customers who are a part of the Save-On More rewards program to redeem their points in 1,000 point increments towards the SPCA’s building fund.

Each 1,000 points will be converted into $1 and Save-On-Foods will then match all of the points donated by its customers.

Burton said Save-On-Foods will continue with the fundraising program as long as there’s activity in the account.

Burton and other SPCA volunteers plan to set up a table at Save-On every Sunday to promote the fundraiser, dubbed Raise the Roof, as well as set up collection tins for people who are not Save-On rewards card holders but wish to make a donation.

The SPCA meanwhile is moving ahead with plans to lease an undisclosed building for a period of two to three years or until enough money can be raised to build a new shelter.

The SPCA plans to re-locate back to Campbell River around July 31.

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