The residents of the Lloydminster and District SPCA will have some celebrity visitors on Thursday.
The annual SPCA Jail and Bail is taking place beginning at 7 a.m., with roughly a dozen local animal lovers, veterinarians and media types being locked up with some of the facility’s current inhabitants, all in the name of raising some muchneeded funds for the facility. The inmates – which includes the Source’s Deanna Reschny – will be asking for donations throughout the day, with some reaching a goal that sets them free, while others are content to stay in right until the bitter end, working their contacts for more money.
“This is our second biggest fundraiser after the dinner theatre,” said SPCA funding and communications co-ordinator Jakki Tyson. “We have our two big fundraisers back to back and that sets us up for the year and gives us our money to support the animals.”
Last year’s event raised about $58,000. Of that, LloydFM program director Kurt Price raised over $18,200 himself, thanks to a very public campaign on the LloydFM airwaves and social media. The event has become a staple for Price and like with most undertakings he his involved, the dollars start to pour in.
“I guess it’s because I love the animals so much,” said Price, who will be locked up for the eighth year. “I just can’t imagine someone abandoning an animal. And to see them locked up – some of these animals have been there for a year. It pulls on the heart strings.”
Price said he isn’t expecting to match last year’s record haul, especially with the increased number of celebrities in the cages to spread out the support. But he’s just thrilled to see so much money come in.
“As long as the money is going to the SPCA, it doesn’t matter to me,” said Price. “Really over the past three years, it’s really amped up. I think 2011 was the first really big year that we had. But these past few years have just been really crazy, the amount of people that come in. But we’ve also started spending more time in the actual kennel.”
For everyone participating there is no pressure – any amount is welcomed.
“If they have a goal, that’s great, we like that,” said Tyson. “I know people who have been doing it for many years try to outdo themselves each year, so that’s great. We’re just really thankful people are willing to be locked up in the kennels.”
The money goes towards operational costs in the facility, including food, spaying and neutering, medical care and medicine.
“Each year we would like to do more and more, so we would love to beat that and beat our record and keep raising more and more money,” said Tyson.
Anyone interested in donating can call in their donations to 780-875- 2809, go to the SPCA’s website (lloydminsterspca.org) or head to the SPCA and visit the volunteers before donating. Of course, that also allows the option of maybe walking out with one of the 70 cats or 20 dogs currently available for adoption. And Price urges everyone who is able, to venture down to the facility.
“It’s not only the money, it’s also getting those animals adopted at the Jail and Bail,” said Price. “And if you haven’t been to the SPCA, it’s a great day to come down and find out why they need a new building. Once you’re in there, you can’t believe they have been in this thing for that long.
“I would love it for this to be the last year in that building.”
The event runs until 7 p.m. on Thursday.