Christmas wishes for the animals

Logan White has witnessed many caring acts over the years.

The community engagement officer for the Brant County SPCA smiles with fondness while recalling a time close to the holidays when a local woman opened her heart and her home to a litter of 10 puppies and their mother. “She, like all of our sponsors and volunteers, does it just out of the kindness of their hearts,” White said.

“It just kind of opened my eyes to how far the community will go for the animals and it was pretty inspiring.”

Logan White, Community Engagement Officer, Brant County SPCA

The festive season is one of the busiest times for donations of money, time and goods at the SPCA. “It’s integral to our operations,” White said. “We rely on it. The community has given us so much support in the past to allow us to do the work that we do.”

The organization recently released a wish list that will keep animals in its care fed and nurtured over the holidays. “We have a wonderful group of stores that decided to participate in our Caring Campaign,” White said. Through the campaign each participating store has bags embellished with the SPCA wish list and a photo of an animal in its care. Customers are encouraged to pick up a bag while shopping, place some gifts from the wish list into the bag and bring it to the shelter. Participating stores are Pet Value on Market St. and in Paris, Global Pet Foods, Pet Smart, Paulmacs and Ruffin’s. Wish list items include wet and dry dog and cat food, treats, toys including tennis balls, litter, heated water bowls, peanut butter, new or used carriers, pet store, grocery store and Staples gift cards.

Although the SPCA doesn’t encourage buying a pet for a friend or relative at Christmas unless they are absolutely sure it is wanted, there are other ways to gift an animal. “If it’s an animal that a family wants to gift to their kids at Christmastime, that’s an instance where it’s a controlled environment, so that’s great,” White said. “In an instance where it is a gift for another person, we always just want to ensure that person is ready and capable of taking care of a pet, and is interested in taking care of that pet.”

That is why the SPCA offers The Gift of Life, which gives the recipient an opportunity to go to the local animal shelter and choose a pet that suits their needs and lifestyles. “This way they can come in, create that bond and then walk away with an animal that is right for them,” White said.

Paw It Forward is another gift that will help animals at the SPCA. This campaign allows people to sponsor animals that may have a harder time getting adopted due to age or health. “Right now we have a cat named Jag, he’s been here for quite some time, and someone has come in and sponsored his adoption,” White said. “If someone is coming in and looking for a cat, that might appeal to them that he has no adoption fees associated.” There are currently a few cats and rats sponsored through that program and waiting for their forever homes.

“We also have our cage sponsorships where people can sponsor a cage and that takes care of the animal’s food, medical needs, or any other needs that they might have,” White said. Cage sponsorships are $25 a month, $150 for six months or $300 for a year.

Donations of gently used items and gifts in kind are also helpful. “We often see the community step up and really show us what they can do at this time of year,” White said.

“We often see the community step up and really show us what they can do at this time of year.”

Logan White, Community Engagement Officer, Brant County SPCA

The Brantford Firefighters Association also stepped up for the animals this year to create a unique calendar. Paws in Time features an SPCA animal each month, along with a local firefighter and the animal’s story.

Volunteers and fosters are needed throughout the year. For more information visit the 539 Mohawk St. Shelter, call 519-756-6910 or visit brantcountyspca.com.

The shelter is closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, but emergency services are still available during the holidays.