SPCA volunteers stepping up during COVID19 pandemic

BY Judy Layne

WINDSOR JUNCTION: It’s National Volunteer Week and the Nova Scotia SPCA wants to take this opportunity to honor and applaud the work of all our amazing volunteers throughout the province. Volunteers are the backbone of the SPCA; we could not do our life-saving work without these selfless dedicated individuals.

Our 500+ volunteers are actively involved at every stage of the rescue process. From trapping and transporting feral cats, to keeping our kennels and shelters clean, to walking dogs and cuddling cats, to doing office and maintenance work, to working in our Thrift Stores, to fund-raising – our volunteers contribute countless hours each year to support the NS SPCA’s missionWe are extremely grateful for their tireless work.

COVID-19 has thrust all of us into a new world – a new world where homeless animals still need our help. And while many things have changed at the SPCA, the love and care our animals receive continues to be at the heart of everything we do. This is possible thanks to a special group of volunteers who have stepped up during the pandemic – our amazing foster network.

These foster parents have opened their hearts and homes to animals while they await adoption. To date, the SPCA has successfully placed over 240 animals with foster families and since the end of February, over 300 new applications to become foster parents have been received!

For the animals they foster, they are the voice and hands of compassion, love and hope especially during this difficult time.

I caught up with fabulous first-time foster parent Olivia Wiegert.

Olivia didn’t have any pets so she felt it was a perfect opportunity to open her home to an animal in need. “I enjoy walking and hiking and knew it would be so much better to do with a companion”, she says. Enter Gemma, a beautiful 7-year old Shepherd mix.

Olivia says “Gemma came into my life when I began working from home part-time due to COVID-19. Every Thursday morning, she sits in on my video meetings and everyone oohs and aahs over her.”

“The NS SPCA foster model is great – they match you with an animal that fits best with your experience, lifestyle and available time”, states Olivia. “Also, the SPCA supplies everything required to care for Gemma and I supply the cuddles! However, that doesn’t stop me from buying her a little toy each time I’m at the grocery store or online.”

Olivia sums up her experience – “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing an animal that came from a situation of abuse or hardship finally be able to enjoy being with a family that loves and cares for them. It makes my heart happy.”

Please join me in giving heartfelt thanks to each one of our SPCA volunteers in the province. They are not only heroes to the animals they help to save, they are heroes to all of us who care deeply about animal welfare.

Take a few minutes to meet some of the NS SPCA’s wonderful volunteers who have received Golden Paw Awards for their outstanding volunteerism. https://www.novascotiaspca.ca/community/golden-paw-awards/.