Go Loonie for the SPCA

Veterinarian trying to pull the community together to raise money to bring the SPCA back to Campbell River

A local veterinarian is trying to pull the community together to raise money to bring the SPCA back to Campbell River while the society is working behind-the-scenes to reach an agreement with the city to re-instate its animal welfare services.

Helen Kwong, veterinarian at Merecroft Veterinary Clinic, has dreamed up a “fun”-draiser, Go Loonie for the SPCA, to help the organization keep up its operations in Campbell River.

“Our Campbell River SPCA was forced to close its doors after 30 years of serving our community due to a lack of municipal funding,” Kwong said. “At this point, both parties have decided to come back to the table and re-start negotiations. As there will most likely be a shortfall in funds between what is offered and proposed, it is up to our community to make up the difference, and hopefully the SPCA will not be in this position next year.”

The SPCA had offered to provide the city’s animal impound services for $95,000 per year but  turned that down because the price did not fit within the city’s budget. After the SPCA, which said it costs $400,000 per year to run the city-owned animal shelter, shut down its Campbell River branch, the city agreed to meet with the BC SPCA to try and work out an agreement.

Kwong said the BC SPCA submitted an amended proposal to the city on Friday.

Kwong said she couldn’t talk about the details but did say the offer was less than the original $95,000 proposal.

“Right now I can’t comment further until council takes a look at it at tomorrow night’s council meeting,” Kwong said. The contract is expected to be discussed during the in-camera portion of the meeting, which is closed to the media and the public.

In the meantime, Kwong is launching Go Loonie for the SPCA which will pit businesses and individuals against each other as they go head-to-head in a competition to see who can raise the most money for the SPCA. The contest runs from May 1-31.

“I am encouraging challenges to be issued from one company to another, or one office to another,” Kwong said. “It doesn’t matter how you raise the money, it just needs to be done and have fun doing it. You can be creative, how about a two minute scalp massage from the hairdressers, extra foam on your latte?”

For individuals, Kwong suggests challenging your friends or the neighbours on your block. Money could be raised through garage sales, bake sales, or talent shows.

Kwong said the only catch is that participants must publicly post a daily tote board updated at noon each day of the competition.

“I encourage corporate spying because what is at stake is major bragging rights,” Kwong said.

All money raised must be deposited into a Campbell River SPCA account which will be set up at Scotia Bank.

All participants in the fundraiser must register with the Merecroft Veterinary Clinic. To register and for more information, call the clinic at 250-287-2007.