‘Paws’ fundraiser to combat animal cruelty

SPCA inviting people to register for annual 'Paws for a Cause' fundraiser in September.

Though it is just under two months away, the BC SPCA East Kootenay branch is encouraging people to sign up and register for the Paws for a Cause fundraiser in September.

The event, on Sunday, September 20, is raising money to help with staffing for investigating animal cruelty claims across the East Kootenay region.

There is only one animal cruelty investigation officer who covers the area from Creston to Golden to Kimberley to the Alberta border, according to Brenna Baker, the BC SPCA East Kootenay branch manager.

“There are not enough hours in the day for him to get to every single call right away. He does get to them, but sometimes it’s a week or two wait. If it’s a critical distress, he is there or another officer will attend to it right away, but it is difficult for him to do a call—even in Revelstoke, that’s a full day for him to do one call,” said Baker.

Baker said the most common forms of animal cruelty are neglect, especially in summer when people leave their dogs in hot cars while shopping.

“We haven’t had as many in the last few weeks, but at the beginning of the hot season, we’d be getting one or two calls a day,” she said.

“…We get a lot of calls on horses around this area and it’s a big expense. If we have to call in a vet, it gets really expensive and it all comes out of the cruelty budget.”

Paws for the Cause will be hosted out at the BC SPCA East Kootenay branch building, where there will be a 0.5 kilometre and a 3 kilometre walk with a canine companion at 11 a.m.

Following the walk, there will be activities for everyone, including kids, adults and pets.

“Anybody can come out for the day, we have music, there’s a couple local vendors here like Top Crop, The Paw Shop, and Pretty Pooch come out and set up little booths,” continued Baker.

There will be a dog agility course and a a number of other activities for canines and their owners to participate in as well.

“It’s just a fun day for people to bring their dogs out and raise some money for the SPCA,” said Baker.

The goal is to raise $15,000 which will stay in the area to help with staffing costs for animal cruelty calls.

There will be registration on site the day of the event, but anyone interested in attending can also sign up online and register in the Cranbrook location.