Fundraising efforts continue to save SPCA

Volunteers get busy raising money to help the BC SPCA remain active in Campbell River

Volunteers bathe and groom this little dog during Saturday’s SPCA fundraiser at the Campbell River Veterinary Hospital.

Animal lovers are hard at work raising money to try and bring the SPCA back to Campbell River.

On Saturday, staff at the Campbell River Veterinary Hospital and Dog Grooming hosted Claws for a Cause.

For a donation to the SPCA, staff clipped dog claws and bathed willing pooches.

The event went hand-in-hand with the community-wide Go Loonie for the SPCA fundraiser which is trying to come up with the money the SPCA needs to run the Campbell River shelter.

The SPCA is offering to provide shelter services for $80,000 but Craig Daniell, SPCA chief executive officer, said it costs $400,000 annually to operate the shelter.

“With any shortfall, the community will have to make up the difference, in addition to the $100,000 this community raises throughout the year,” said veterinarian Helen Kwong.

“Can we do it? Heck yes, we can. Even with this bizarre plan to divide the former SPCA building and give the SPCA about 40 per cent of the old building, we could still make it work.”

Kwong said the community is already getting behind the contest, which kicked off May 1, and runs until the end of the month.

“The loonie cans are going out fast and furious and we would like to have 200 cans out in the community,” Kwong said. “It’s a beautiful thing to see the entire city come together over such a worthwhile cause.”

Last week, Kwong said the community has already raised $9,000 and the city has said it would match donations up to a maximum of $10,000.

The city has committed to continue working with the SPCA to come up with an agreement to bring the SPCA back.

The SPCA pulled the plug on its Campbell River branch in late March after the city awarded the animal enforcement contract to Coastal Animal Control for $105,000.

The city offered the BC SPCA $58,000 for the kennelling of impounded dogs, an amount the BC SPCA provided in the request for proposals process.

But the SPCA declined the $58,000 offer and changed its quote to $95,000 to provide impoundment services. The city in turn offered the animal impound contract to Coastal Animal Control for $25,000.

After Coastal was awarded both contracts, the city offered the SPCA a $34,000 grant-in-aid for animal welfare services, including shelter, adoption and education.

The SPCA turned that down too, saying it was already losing thousands of dollars each year on its local operations, but is offering to return to Campbell River and provide shelter, adoption and welfare services for $80,000 per year.