Helter shelter: fundraiser a success

By Geoff Lee

December 15, 2015 10:35 AM

Kurt Price fom Lloyd FM shared the same prisoner number as Al Capone during this year's SPCA Jail and Bail fundraiser. Price raised $2,360 in hour four of his 12-hour sentence.

A double woof goes out from Wally the mixed breed pup to everyone who contributed to the 2015 Lloydminster and District SPCA Jail & Bail fundraiser to feed and shelter animals.
The fact Wally was adopted was a secondary outcome to the event that raised more than $26,000 last Thursday.
The annual fundraiser featured local media celebrities and business owners doing up to 12 hours of time inside a kennel with an animal or two.
“It’s an opportunity for local celebrities and business owners to come to the shelter and help raise money and spend some time with the animals inside the kennels,” said Jon Punshon operations manager on location.
Last year the event raised $40,300 in better times, but Punshon said in a followup call they were happy with this year’s total considering the economy
“Things are tight this year. We were just happy with whatever we could get,” he said.
“Everyone who was there was happy and had a good time.”
There were 18 inmates in all who shared the criminal mug shot numbers of real celebrities charged with various offences. Those included Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and Jim Morrison.
Inmates tapped into friends, family, co-workers and total strangers to bring in donations, in person, by phone or online at www.lloydminsterspca.ca.
Social chatter on Twitter and Facebook helped to maintain the hype.
Attempted jail breaks were stopped by fresh donations as the rules state the more money raised the longer everyone stays locked up.
Word was also spread by the likes of Kurt Price, from Lloyd FM, who broadcast live from the biggest cell in the kennel with his named posted with Al Capone’s mug number.
Price raised more than $70,000 over the past seven years he’s participated and gets the royal treatment.
“Kurt every year gets the comfy room because generally he’s our highest (earner) every year,” joked Punshon.
“I have told everyone if they want the room next year, they’ll have to get more than Kurt Price. He generally gets over $10,000.”
Price already surpassed the $2,300 mark after just four hours of being caged in with a frisky cat and ended up adding more than $6,000 to the kitty.
Dana Crawford, owner of Groomer Has It, was having a hoot with the cats that she bunked with.
“This my first year joining the jail and bail event and so far it’s very fun with me and my three cat cellmates,” she said, with $100 pledged by late morning.
“I’m doing okay by the sounds of it. There’s a couple of people beating me, but they’ve got a couple more years experience here.”
By the end of the day Crawford raised about $1,300, more than double her target of $500.
Crawford actually grooms all the animals adopted from the shelter and provides a similar service at her business.
This year’s Jail &  Bail was the sixth or seventh for Daryl Hanley a veterinarian and co-owner of the Lloydminster Animal Hospital.
He said their two clinics in the city work very closely with SPCA and so they see the struggles they have yearly.
“This is a chance for us to help out anyway we can and raise some funds because we know what the costs are of maintaining and keeping up a place like this with all the pets that there are,” said Hanley.
Hanley and his cat mate Meelo had raised $520 before noon toward a goal of $1,500. In the end their two clinics brought in about $3,000.
“It’s hard to compete against guys like Kurt Price who’s on the radio and the Goat doing all of their broadcasting live, but we do every bit we can to reach out to clients,”  he added.
He said it’s hard at this time of the year to ask people to spend more money, but he said its for such as good cause.
“There are so many cats and dogs here that need to be adopted and they need food for them,” said Hanley.
He noted it’s a good chance to give back and help the SPCA.
Christmas is also the time when some people adopt a pet as a gift but Punshon advises all family members should be present when the animal is picked up so it’s not a surprise.
He said that also gives SPCA staff the opportunity discuss with the whole family the importance of taking care of an animal.
“We just want to make sure they do know what’s involved. Generally speaking people who adopt at Christmastime still have the animal years later,” said Punshon.
Punshon said this year shelters all across Alberta and Saskatchewan are seeing a lot more kittens this year.
“This just happens to be an up year for kittens,” he explained.
An adult cat can be adopted for $110 and an adult dog for $200 both spayed and neutered with all the bells and whistles including vaccinations.

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