Lockup campaign helped SPCA get on funding track

Last year at this time, the Abbotsford SPCA branch was facing a funding crunch, as donations were down to half of normal...

What a difference a year makes.

Last year at this time, the Abbotsford SPCA branch was facing a funding crunch, as donations were down to half of normal, leaving a $58,000 shortfall.

This year, donations are back up.

“Maybe the economy is a little better this year – people are starting to give again,” said SPCA Abbotsford branch manager Jodi Dunlop.

The budget for the annual Paws for a Cause fundraiser was $15,000, and this year it exceeded the goal, with $17,000 brought in. About 100 people walked their dogs for the event.

A kennel lockup campaign, which saw Dunlop and local veterinarian Dr. Kelly O’Blenis spend the night penned with the dogs, managed to raise $5,000 for the facility.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” said Dunlop, adding that people were generous, and came to feed them, walk them, and “to see the spectacle.”

They were also on a web cam, so friends, family and interested members of the public could see what they were up to.

“It was worth it – I would do it again,” she said. “Now we are having a good year.”

She said the plan next year is to ratchet the fundraiser up a notch by having a celebrity locked up.

The budget to operate the facility for a year is approximately $500,000, said Dunlop, and most of it is raised through the provincial office of the SPCA.