Boitanio Park is going to the dogs on Sept. 18, when big dogs, little dogs, old dogs and young dogs in a range of breeds and mixes hit the trail for Paws for a Cause, the Williams Lake SPCA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
SPCA shelter manager Liz Dighton said there will be a silent auction and a barbecue — food to fuel your walk.
“You and your dog can chase your tail on a one-kilometre walk, and for every loop you walk you can enter to win one of three beautiful big gift baskets,” she explained.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Sept. 18. Dighton said that you can register online at www.spca.bc.ca, click on Paws for a Cause and print your pledge form to start collecting donations from friends, families and co-workers.
“It’s fun to walk your dog on a Sunday, anyway,” she said. “Come and do it with a bunch of friends, enjoy the festivities and support the SPCA at the same time.
“At Paws for a Cause our staff members enjoy meeting dogs who were adopted from the shelter — it’s really cool. We all have a favourite that has stolen our hearts, and it’s icing on a big cake to see them.”
She said the new Paws route that circles around inside the park was well-received last year.
“People liked it; they could loop around, grab something to eat, check on their silent auction prizes, enter to win prizes and do another circuit,” she noted.
“We’re hoping for splendid weather this year.”
SPCA volunteer Amy Sarnowski is excited about this year’s Paws for a Cause, adding that she’s bringing two dogs to the event, including a four-month-old shelter puppy she adopted.
“This year’s Paws for a Cause is going to be great,” she said.
“We want lots of people to show up and support our local shelter: they give so much to us.”
Amy and her boyfriend, Zack, are avid SPCA volunteers, helping at the shelter, fostering animals and picking up strays and abandoned animals from dumps and transfer stations.
“If they’re feral cats, we live-trap them; it’s the safest thing for them and us. If they’re less feral, we use gloves and track them to where they’re staying. We gain their trust, get them used to people and happy again.
“We pick up stray dogs, too; pretty well anything with four legs,” she said. “We love them all.”
They also do a lot of fostering.
“Right now we have five kittens upstairs getting cuddled and fattened up, as well as an emergency foster mom with kittens,” she added.
“We want them all to find safe and happy homes. As a foster home, you have to keep reminding yourself that you already have enough animals and don’t need more.
“It’s easy to love them — who wouldn’t? They don’t have a voice. I think it’s important to teach children to be enthusiastic about speaking for animals. The return is wonderful. It’s an amazing feeling.”
She said adopting a pet is awesome.
“You’re getting a pet from a certified, safe shelter with high standards, rules and regulations,” she said.
“Adopting stops over-breeding and over-populating and it’s the best deal you can get. You’re not adding to a problem. You’re helping to fix one.”
For more information about Paws for a Cause, including registering with your dog, visit www.spca.bc.ca or phone the shelter at 250-392-2179.