Fredericton SPCA welcomes “Pet Pawlooza” to avoid closing its doors – New Brunswick

Dozens of people and their four-legged friends attended the Fredericton SPCA’s first Pet Pawlooza on Saturday.

Rows of stalls filled the space, advertising everything from dog grooming to rabbit toys to animal paintings.

There was even a place where dogs could take photos with Santa.

Taylor Hawkins attended the event with her dog.

“We don’t really have a lot of events that you can bring your dog to, so this was just something we thought it would be cool to come check out,” she said.

But it wasn’t just about vacation photos and dog treats.

In a letter sent to donors, the organization said it only has funds to stay open for about two months.

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“Our goal is to maintain our operations,” said Annette James, the general manager.

She estimates the nonprofit will have a deficit of about $320,000 for 2023.

She said the society had taken in more pets with complex needs in recent years, resulting in longer and more expensive stays. Along with rising medical costs for pets, costs have taken a toll.

For example, surgeries to repair the hips of a young Lab named Alexis will cost around $5,000.

Alexis’ hip surgeries cost about $5,000.

Anna Mandin / PKBNEWS

“It’s a lot of money for anyone who can afford it, certainly shelter,” James said, adding that the dog recently had hip surgery and has another one left.

“Every animal deserves a voice and we want to be an organization that continues to advocate for them. »

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The entry fee to Pawlooza was a donation and the SPCA held a lottery at the event to raise funds.

James said the organization hopes to raise $15,000 through Saturday’s event. From there, the short-term goal is to stay open, and the long-term plan is to consider partnerships to make their operation more sustainable.

Part of that involves asking the city for more funding. The City of Fredericton pays the shelter $42,000 per year. James said that’s not enough because it costs about $65,000 a month to operate the shelter.

“When the bank account is empty, the bank account is empty,” she said. If this happens, the Fredericton SPCA will close its doors.

She said staff were doing everything they could to avoid closure, but needed to prepare for the possibility of the organization closing. If the animal shelter were to cease operations, James said staff would ensure every animal currently at the Fredericton SPCA has a forever home.

Despite the concerns, seeing the crowd on Saturday was encouraging for her.

“To see people come out and join us today and come together as a community, it’s absolutely heartwarming,” James said.

And she had a message to share.

“If we all do our part, we can make a big difference,” she said.

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