McMurray Musings CONNECTS: Raising the Woof

by Theresa Wells

12x18 poster woof packThe puns are endless, really, and while there is some good fun to be had in raising funds to “raise the woof” for a new animal health centre at the Fort McMurray SPCA it is serious business too, because this new centre will help the SPCA to ensure all the animals in their care receive the medical attention they may need.
As someone who managed veterinary clinics for a decade and owned pets for her entire life, I know that veterinary care is not inexpensive. I don’t begrudge veterinarians for charging what they do, either, as I have been on that side and seen their overhead costs. Veterinarians are professionals who have trained for years to treat animals and they and their staff deserve to earn a reasonable wage to do so (and complaints about the cost of veterinary care always remind me of how oblivious we are to the cost of human medical care and how wasteful we can be as a result, not realizing how things like unnecessary visits to the ER cost all of us dearly). The reality though is that when is talking about a large number of animals, often requiring significant veterinary care like those at the SPCA, the costs can be astronomical even when veterinarians do the work at discounted rates. This is why the SPCA animal health centre “woof raiser” is so close to my heart.
The SPCA cares for thousands of pets every single year. Some of those come to them in dire straights and with medical conditions requiring intensive and costly care. The ability to treat them on site at an animal health centre equipped with the equipment and medications needed to do so will help reduce the costs the SPCA faces and help them to invest that cash in other ways while still ensuring all the animals that come through their doors have access to top-notch veterinary care. So how does the Woof Raiser help?
The SPCA is now selling “paws”, on which you can write your name or that of an animal you love or have loved. The paws, which sell for $10, are then displayed at the SPCA to signify your support of this drive to “raise the woof” on their new animal health centre. When I was approached and asked if I would consider selling these directly to colleagues and friends I didn’t hesitate to say yes as I know a few things, like the cost of veterinary care and the need for the SPCA to provide it. But I also know something else. I know the value of the animals that receive that care.
Regular readers of this column know that I share my house with a veritable zoo of animals. Three of these are SPCA adoptees that came to us through unknown circumstances but arrived in excellent health thanks to the loving care they received at the SPCA. Sirus and Smaug the cats and River the ferret were the recipients of the kind of care needed to adopt them out to families like ours: health exams, deworming, vaccinations and in one case treatment for an upper respiratory infection (common in stray cats). This kind of care is not cheap but it does mean that when the pets are ready to be rehomed they are in top physical condition and ready for a new life – and the new animal health centre will help to ensure all future adoptees have that same advantage while reducing the costs to the SPCA.
It’s a win-win for everybody if we help the SPCA to “Raise the Woof” on their new animal health centre. Clever puns aside, the new initiative has tremendous potential for the SPCA and for all the animals they will care for on their stopping point to a new “furever home” (see, the whole thing just lends itself to puns). So be sure to buy a paw and help the SPCA to raise the roof – I mean the woof – on a new aspect of their operation designed to improve life for everyone – but especially all the little paws in their care.
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