It was all paws on deck at Total Pet this past weekend.
Tails were wagging and the water bowls were filled to the brim as the store held its annual adoption fair in support of Northwest Animal Shelter (NWAS) in Smithers.
This year the store’s goal was to raise $2700 for the shelter to help with future funding efforts and to make sure it’s able to continue to have such a large operation area.
As of this article’s publication a total donation tally has not been completed, however the location already raised $1100 for the NWAS this month.
As part of it’s national ‘Paw Month’ promotion, Pet Valu-owned stores across the country took part in similar programs that pair local pet stores with shelters to help raise money and awareness for the programs.
The NWAS is a registered charity, meaning it is largely run by volunteers.
Lorna Walker is one of those volunteers.
She said that one of the biggest challenges animal shelters face in less-populated areas are the transportation costs.
Walker said that, often times, when the shelter rescues an animal they have to physically drive to and from the location it’s being held at.
“I think a huge challenge is distance … we cover roughly Houston to Hazelton and there have been dogs come in from way further than that,” said Walker.
“We have a ton of animals but not as big a population for adopting them,” adds Jolene Casanova, who also works with the shelter.
Walker said that, by the 3 p.m. mark, over 100 people had stopped by to check out the event, adding that they had secured a few new leads on some potential furever homes for the animals present.
As for why they recommend supporting a shelter instead of buying from a breeder?
In a word: compassion.
“These cats, they’ve seen hard times but they’re so open for love, same with the dogs, they’re all ready for their new homes,” said Casanova.
“Once they actually get another home where they can have that love, they’re ready to embrace it.”
The NWAS was founded in 2001.
A list of animals currently available for adoption can be found on its website at nwas.ca.