Monday September 20, 2010

Feature Story

Dogmatic Day

Paws For A Cause fundraiser something to bark about

Craig Hill/Voice


iggest, smallest, oldest and coolest. We're talking dogs here not people.


There's something about fundraisers and community that brings people out rain or shine. Paws For The Cause is the Chilliwack SPCA's main fundraiser of the year and last Sunday the dogs owned Fairview Island Park and people took a backseat.     


Despite the incessant rain, it was actually a doggone good turnout and everyone was smiling, especially the canines. Amazingly, these were some of the best behaved dogs you're going to find anywhere. Many of the happy hounds there at the park were in fact SPCA adoptees at one time, noted 98.3 Starfm's Lisa Stevens, who emceed the day's events.

There was lots of doggie activities like the agility course where dogs weaved patterns around an obstacle course. A colourful group of owners who called themselves Muttley Crew led the strutting tykes in the Pooch Parade while others entered their pals into contests like the popular wiener bob.

If you've never seen a dog bob for wieners before, the outcome is hilarious. The dogs are given a sniff of the wieners before dropping them into shallow plastic containers filled with water. Most pooches puzzled at how to get at the pink aquatic morsels and some did catch on, but they all faced the same dilemma.

There were other cute contests like best dancer and a comical version of musical chairs aptly called "Musical Sit."

                                         Juanita Stander and her husband were the top money earners.

Judging the dogs in the various categories were Mayor Sharon Gaetz, Sharmaine May from Chilliwack Ford, Councillor Sue Attrill and MLA Barry Penner who leafed through dog-eared pages while studying contestants that were definitely doggish about the whole affair.

Juanita Stander, a volunteer with the SPCA since 1997 won two lovely gift baskets, one for top fundraiser. She had actually started her dollar drive before the end of June bringing in a whopping $2,380 by herself. Beat that.

"I've always been in love with animals and enjoy working with the SPCA and I just enjoy fundraising," said Stander. "The more we can get on this day, the better it is for our shelter."

At one point, a year's supply of dog food was given away to a lucky owner courtesy of Oly's.

Ivanna Ferris, the Chilliwack branch manager, said that the turnout was better than she had anticipated because of the rain.

"People will support us rain or shine and they showed that today coming out in full force and we did really well."


 Bobbing for wieners was harder than it looked.

"We just have an amazing group of animal lovers in Chilliwack and our volunteers are fantastic and I couldn't have done this without so many great people helping me coordinate the fundraising side of it, food, the vendors, the people who went out and got tents and set everything up and now they're still here soaking wet and all they have is smiles on their faces."

According to print media reports, over $20,000 was raised in support of the animal shelter.

Adore Pictures was taking high quality pet portraits and Oly's Pet Connection were offering grooming on-site.

Creative Memories vendor Mary-Susan Gagnon and her husband Peter were selling specially designed software enabling users to make gorgeous coffee hardcover books using their own photos.

Chilliwack Paws For the Cause is sponsored locally by Oly's Pet Connection, CADREB Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board, Black Walnut Kennel, Chilliwack Ford, 98.3 Starfm, Cottonwood Mall, Scotiabank and GO Audio.

Therapy dogs are always in need and if owners are interested in volunteering their animal they can contact St. John Ambulance, 45928 Hocking Ave #202 Chilliwack, BC V2P1B4 (604) 792-1338

The Chilliwack SPCA shelter is at 6797 Hopedale Road, Chilliwack, BC V2R 4L4

(604) 823-6612. They're always looking for volunteers and donations of food for the animals. If you can help or need more information visit their website at: 


Creative Memories, Mary-Susan Gagnon can be reached via e-mail here.

Adore Pictures, 46130 Yale Road East, Chilliwack, BC V2P 2P1 (604) 392-7886

Oly's Pet Connection, 45844 Yale Rd., Chilliwack, B.C. V2P 2N9 (604) 392-2215


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