Leftover plants at the end of gardening season have translated into a serious windfall for a local organization dedicated to saving man’s best friend.
“We decided to give back to the community,” said Lynne Lepine, who planned the fundraiser. “The SPCA is a very worthy cause.”
One day last week, shoppers at Super A’s garden centre were invited to make a donation in exchange for the season’s last plants. They raised about $3,800 in total in memory of Lepine’s dog Spider, a rescue himself who passed away earlier this month.
“He was a great dog,” Lepine said. “He loved me, and he was my dog… the ugliest thing, but the cutest dog because of it.”
At the end of the season, Lepine said the garden centre either gives the leftover plants away or bins them. This year, she thought it would be nice to give the community a chance to support a local cause and offer the plants in exchange for donations.
The Hay River SPCA is a volunteer organization that takes care of dogs and cats left abandoned in the community, as well as holding the contract for the town’s stray dog needs. They provide shelter, food, and re-homing services to hundreds of animals every year on a shoestring budget.
The SPCA takes in between 150 and 175 animals every year and the summer months are often the busiest. People leave on vacation and don’t always make arrangements for their pets, leaving them to wander the streets and look for food on their own.
Former Hay River SPCA president Allan Cunningham said the donation was a complete surprise. Super A owners John and Tracy Hill turned up at the group’s annual general meeting Wednesday night and dropped “a sack of money” on the table, he said.
While he thanked Super A for being willing to run the donation day, he also said it couldn’t have happened without the co-operation and generosity of the shoppers that day.
“We knew something was in the works, but we were surprised by how much it was,” said Cunningham. “We’ve struggled as a group, like many other organizations, with our challenges, and it’s great to have that support from the community.”