Itâ€™s time for the second annual Paws for a Cause walk on North Chesterman Beach, and the CARE Network SPCA is gearing up for Sunday, Sept. 7 event.
Registration starts at 11:30 p.m. and the walk is at noon â€“ dogs are WILDLY welcomed but must be on leash. The event will be followed by a barbecue and prizes.
â€œLast yearâ€™s event was a fantastic success .. it was a great turnout for the event, and one of the top fundraising teams within the province was from our region,â€ said CARE coordinator Lee-Ann Unger.
About 50 folks (and their canine buddies) came out in the fog last year, and Ungerâ€™s hoping for an even better turnout this year.
â€œWe have such dedicated animal lovers on the West Coast. Weâ€™ll be there rain or shine, and we hope others will join us,â€ Unger said.
Paws for a Cause raises awareness of the need for greater animal protection and resources to support the work to help animals in need in West Coast communities.
The CARE Network â€“ thatâ€™s Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network – is a paw of the Port Alberni SPCA.
â€œWe work to better the lives of animals in all West Coast communities,â€ Unger said.
Thatâ€™s everything from stray and abandoned animals to dealing with cruelty or neglect, as well as supporting improved animal welfare around the region.
Thereâ€™s a rescue team and a transportation team.
â€œThese folks are so essential, providing necessary transportation from Tofino and Ucluelet to Port Alberni. And we have a great foster network, which weâ€™re looking to grow. Foster homes provide temporary care for dogs and cats that need to be housed from 1-3 nights on average,â€ she said.
They also improve access to spay/neuter and other essential medical services, providing reduced cost operations for petowners who need it as long as there are funds available, and help support other organizations that come in to do spay/neuter clinics in remote communities.
â€œSpay/neuter is such an important part of addressing animal health â€¦ itâ€™s such a lifesaver,â€ Unger said, citing that unneutered cats and their offspring can produce hundreds of thousands of kittens.
â€œIt gets out of control if spay and neuter isnâ€™t made a priority,â€ she said.
CARE Network can be reached at 250-266-9663. Find them on Facebook under Care Network SPCA and Paws for a Cause.