Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

The 12 Days of Christmas - 12 Stories to warm your heart

 December 23, 2011

During the 12 Days of Christmas,
We bring you 12 stories to warm your heart.

Visit this spot daily over the next 12 days for 12 stories of extraordinary people and animals.

Each year, BC SPCA branches across the province care for more than 34,000 animals in need – animals who are lost, sick, abandoned or abused – and who badly need a forever home. The love, compassion and generosity of those who respond as SPCA supporters, donors, foster families, adopters and volunteers make a life-saving difference every day of the year. On behalf of the animals, we want to say thank you. You are our heroes.

December 23, 2011 update

Cindy Soules — Volunteer president and hero to homeless cats


The BC SPCA has been a significant part of Cindy’s life since she first joined the society 12 years ago as a grassroots volunteer. Due to her deep and abiding love for cats, she found the ideal volunteer job as a cat adoption counsellor at the Vancouver shelter where she educated people about the responsibilities of being a cat guardian and the need to love, shelter, feed and care for their companion throughout his or her life. Cindy, who personally helped find homes for more than 400 cats, says nothing felt better than making a successful adoption match and removing a cat from his or her cage to go to their new “forever home”.

Six years ago she was recruited to join the society’s Board of Directors, where she has offered her business and strategic skills to help oversee the governance of the organization. During her time as a board volunteer, Cindy chaired the society's advocacy committee for two years and is particularly proud of that group's successful End Animal Cruelty campaign, which ultimately saw increased protection for abused and neglected animals through new cruelty legislation enacted by the provincial government. She has also chaired the Governance Review Committee, and in 2010 she became president of the board and is serving her second term as volunteer president of the BC SPCA. 

Cindy remains a dedicated champion for homeless cats, recognizing that there is still much work to do in educating society about the value of the cat as an animal companion. Cats are being relinquished to shelters in increasing numbers and she urges people to adopt a homeless cat, foster a cat or volunteer at their local shelter.  

Photo caption: BC SPCA Board of Directors President Cindy Soules with Taz.


December 22, 2011

Pacific Coastal Airlines — Heroes to sick and injured animals across B.C.

Pacific Coastal Airlines is a family-owned and operated airline servicing B.C. coastal and interior regions. For many years, they have demonstrated their passionate commitment to help animals in need by providing transportation for animals to and from SPCA shelters across the province. “They have flown dogs, cats, small animals, wildlife, reptiles and even goats,” says Burnaby SPCA branch manager, Ryan Voutilainen.

In many cases animals are being transported due to medical concerns. Overland travel that would be very distressing for the animal or, in some cases, not possible at all, is provided by Pacific Coastal Airlines. The reduction in travel time and stress to the animal is greatly mitigated through the airline's assistance.

“The staff at Pacific Coastal Airlines are always friendly and caring towards the animals, doing what they can to ensure they are well cared for during the flight,” says Danielle Jackman, Trail SPCA branch manager, “and they are always eager to help when asked.”

Pacific Coastal Airlines' support has helped save the lives of countless animals around the province.


December 21, 2011

Leila and Sheila Kullar — SPCA heroes since 2002 

Sheila and Leila Kullar have changed the lives of literally thousands of animals. But if you ask them, they’re just doing what they think is right. “People think we’re doing something courageous but we’re not,” says Sheila.

The sisters began volunteering at the BC SPCA’s Surrey Branch in 2002 after the shelter issued an urgent plea for volunteers to help care for and foster animals. They began fostering (over the years that has added up to 44 dogs and 15 cats) and soon added dog walking and adoption counselling to their repertoire. Then they took on increasingly responsible roles organizing fundraising events and delivering humane education programs in local elementary schools, all the while donating significantly to the Surrey shelter.

Sheila has co-ordinated the Scotiabank & BC SPCA Paws for a Cause Walk for the past two years, and has been involved with the event for eight years altogether. She has also organized the popular Surrey Animal Lovers’ Gala for the past three years. Together, the two events have amassed almost $240,000 under Sheila’s leadership.

In addition to making numerous financial contributions to the BC SPCA the sisters have also financed many of the expenses associated with caring for the animals they’ve fostered, including veterinary surgeries and professional training and rehabilitation. “It’s a different way of contributing, and if we can help, that means there is more money for another animal,” adds Sheila, who has also served as the community council president of the Surrey SPCA Branch and currently serves on the BC SPCA Advocacy Committee.

Photo caption: (Left to right) Leila and Sheila Kullar with Oliver and Patrick. Photo courtesy of Mambo Mutts Big Air Photography.


December 20, 2011

Stella Animal hero


This holiday season Stella, a young pit bull cross, will be relaxing at home, safe and warm with her human family. This brave girl was honoured earlier this year with the BC SPCA Animal Courage Award. Despite her rough start in life, Stella has managed to triumph.

Stella was just seven months old when she gave birth under some of the worst conditions Cowichan BC SPCA Branch manager Sandi Trent has ever seen. Attending a call about a neglected mother and her eight pups, Trent found pups scattered all over the yard, some under bushes or rocks, three already dead. Stella was lying motionless at the end of a tether. She was horribly emaciated at 33 pounds, nearly half her normal weight, severely dehydrated, and had a serious uterine infection. Both she and her pups were covered in fly eggs and maggots. Trent and staff worked hard to save the pups, but despite all efforts, over the next week, the puppies died, one by one.

Cowichan residents rallied financially for Stella and Trent fostered her until someone stepped forward to give Stella a forever home. Trent says Stella is an exceptional dog. “I have never seen more courage than I did that night with Stella. She tried so hard to save her babies and I will never forget her worried look when we took her puppies away so we could tend to her as well as them. She was so sick, but her first concern was for her pups.”

Photo caption: Animal Courage award-winner Stella enjoying her new life and some fresh air at the beach.


December 19, 2011

Beverly Schultz — Hero to Herman the cat


Beverly Schultz is a woman with a big heart and tons of compassion. Before Herman the cat came into Beverly Schultz’s life, he came into her living room by way of the BC SPCA’s weekly Adopt-a-Pet segments on Global BC’s Noon News. Besides having been abused, Herman was getting on in years, diabetic, suffering from kidney and dental disease and a heart murmur. This was a kitty who needed a special guardian. Schultz was so moved by Herman’s tragic story of being rescued after being severely beaten on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside she found herself weeping.

“I was crying my eyes out watching,” Schultz recalls. “As soon as I collected myself I phoned the number on the screen.” Herman was soon in his new forever home with Schultz, who gave Herman his twice daily insulin injections until within months his diabetes subsided. She also provided ongoing care for a myriad of other health issues the aging cat was experiencing.

“The first time I saw him and held him, he wouldn’t stop purring,” Schultz recalls. “It was like he knew he was finally safe.” Herman spent his days in Schultz’s lap, and his nights on top of her pillow with his whiskers touching her cheek. “We definitely shared a special bond.” Sadly, Herman passed away from cancer a year to the day Schultz adopted him, but he left a deep impression on Schultz’s heart.“To know that he found love again and was just so trusting enriched my life,” she said. “I’m the lucky one to have experienced it.”

Photo caption: Herman happily enjoying a peaceful nap.


December 18, 2011

Moji — Animal hero


Nine-year-old pit bull-whippet cross Moji wasn't always the happy-go-lucky, well-loved dog that he is today, but thanks to the attentive care of his new forever family, he has moved on from a past in which he was abused and neglected.

Moji's previous "home" was one in which he was routinely beaten, tortured and starved. His former guardian burned Moji with a cigarette lighter, choked him and kicked him while Moji was helplessly chained up. Moji was also denied urgently needed veterinary care.

Despite his horrific past, Moji adores people, and is totally devoted to his new family. His guardian, Evelyn Walsh even sends BC SPCA special provincial constable Dale Bakken, who investigated Moji’s case, progress updates. “Every time she sends me an email about how happy he is, I get choked up, remembering where he came from,” says Bakken.

Walsh says one of Moji’s many endearing antics is hiding his toys around the house and the yard and challenging his guardians to find them. When he tires of his hide-and-seek game he can often be found enjoying the home-cooked meals prepared especially for him. Moji appears to love life and everything in it, with the exception of rain. “He hates the rain, and sometimes lies on the sidewalk to protest walking in it. We bought him a rain jacket, which seems to make him a bit happier.”  Moji was honoured earlier this year with the BC SPCA Animal Courage Award.

Photo caption: Animal Courage award-winner and extraordinary survivor, Moji.


December 17, 2011

Jesyka Clarkson — Sonny's hero

Jesyka Clarkson has a dream for her horse Sonny, a young thoroughbred she adopted after he was seized in a cruelty investigation last summer. Clarkson, who works at for the BC SPCA Cowichan & District Branch, met the young horse when he and his mother were seized after their owner failed to comply with orders to improve the animals’ living conditions and obtain veterinary care for the colt.

Sonny was a mess: just 16 months old, the spirited horse was severely underweight. His coat was dull from poor nutrition and dirty from never being brushed; his hooves were overgrown and one was abscessed; he limped, and he was extremely frightened of people.

Jeskya opened her heart and her home to Sonny, taking him back to her farm where she nursed him back to health. For the first year and a half of his young life, Sonny had grown up without adequate housing, food, or contact with people. Because he had never been handled before, Sonny couldn’t even endure a blanket over his back for protection from the elements. Jesyka was one of the few people Sonny allowed to touch him.

“Just someone looking at him scared him,” said Clarkson. Sonny wouldn’t tolerate a farrier either and it wasn’t until seven months after Jesyka took him in and after three attempted farrier visits that he finally let Clarkson address his back hooves. “I just sat there and cried because he had needed help for so long.” Under Clarkson's loving care, Sonny has put on 500 pounds. And her special dream for Sonny? “I look forward to getting on this special guy some day and riding off into the sunset.”


December 16, 2011

Thomas Sze and the students of West Point Grey Academy — Heroes to Vancouver animals

The BC SPCA runs a wide variety of education programs for children and youth, who, as tomorrow's leaders, are integral in creating positive change for animals. One of the programs is the BC SPCA Kids Club, which provides opportunities for young people to attend workshop and special events, as well as to receive publications that educate members about animal welfare. Young Thomas Sze had just joined the Kids Club when he decided he wanted to do something to help animals.

Deciding to hold a fundraiser at his school, West Point Grey Academy, Thomas contacted Paula Neuman, humane education manager for the BC SPCA, and invited her to speak to students about the work the BC SPCA does for animals. Thomas feels that the presentation was an excellent first step in motivating his fellow students to get involved. Then he organized a shelter supply drive for the BC SPCA Vancouver Branch. More than 25 boxes full of new leashes, collars, chew toys and pet food, plus office and cleaning supplies were collected. On top of that, the students raised more than $1,000 for the animals.

Thomas says one of the things he learned from the whole experience was that kids can make a big difference by making positive changes to help animals. “When kids speak up, people listen,” Neuman says.

Photo caption: Point Grey Secondary student and fundraiser Thomas Sze with the hundreds of donations he and his fellow students obtained to help Vancouver-area animals.


December 15, 2011

TELUS Communications and TELUS Employees — Volunteer heroes


Animals across the province benefit from the generosity and compassion of TELUS Communications and its employees. This past year, the company donated more than $76,000 to the BC SPCA to help animals in need of critical care and attention. TELUS employees contributed more than $38,454 through their employee giving campaign and their company matched the funds.

In addition to donating funds to the BC SPCA, TELUS employees are also dedicated volunteers, giving of their time to help animals. This past year, more than 30 TELUS staff members participated in the annual TELUS Day of Giving program, volunteering to clean out the barn at the Surrey SPCA, which is home to many farm animals who have been rescued in animal cruelty cases. Whether it is raising money or applying some elbow grease, together this company and its staff and their passionate commitment to help has made a difference in the lives of animals in B.C.

Photo caption: TELUS employees and their family members cleaning out the barn and doing landscaping at the Surrey SPCA this past May as part of the TELUS Day of Giving program.


December 14, 2011

Katie — Hero of a different kind

Katie, a six-year-old border collie-Australian shepherd mix, is a dog on a mission. The dogged fundraiser collects thousands of discarded bottles and cans in her hometown of Prince George, preferring walks along the roads and ditches in her neighbourhood to pleasant park paths. Last year alone, Katie turned up enough recyclables to generate more than $1,600, which guardian Cheryl Giannisis donated to the North Cariboo Branch of the BC SPCA.

Katie's enthusiasm knows no bounds. “Sometimes I have to call my sister to come and get us because Katie’s collected more cans and bottles than I can carry home,” says Giannisis. So Giannisis is training one of her other dogs, Myah, to pull a wagon on their walks, and hopes to soon be able to put Katie’s cans and bottles in Myah’s wagon so she doesn’t have to phone her sister for a ride.

Katie began collecting bottles for charity a couple of years ago when Giannisis’ neighbour needed a wheelchair ramp after losing her legs to diabetes. Katie raised $400 collecting recyclables to put toward the cost of the ramp.

Giannisis says Katie is a one-in-a-million dog. “When people see her coming out of a ditch with a bottle in her mouth, they can’t believe it.” Katie and Cheryl's generosity to animals in need is greatly appreciated. “Heroes come in all shapes and sizes — and species," says BC SPCA chief development officer, Rosemary Conder. "We are very grateful for the funds Katie raises that go to help animals in her community.”

Photo caption: Katie the can-collecting canine in action.


December 13, 2011

Cory and Doug Bond — Heroes to senior animals

Cory and Doug Bond have been adopting senior and special needs dogs for 20 years. The retired Victoria police officers believe that an animal is never too old to benefit from a safe, loving home. And whether their dogs have only been with them in the living world for a few months or a couple of years, they are forever in the couple’s hearts.

As anguishing as it can be to lose a pet, Cory Bond views an animal’s advanced years as a reason for, rather than against, adoption. “Of course it’s always very sad toward the end of their lives, but the joy you see in their eyes and on their faces — especially animals who have gone into the shelter at an old age — makes it all worth it,” says Bond.

The couple's commitment to taking care of senior animals often involves a great deal of time — and sometimes money. These are resources the couple are happy to share with the animals in their lives. Animals such as Vinnie, an abandoned 15-year-old border collie found tied to a street pole, or Ben, a 12-year-old shepherd mix abandoned by his guardian on Christmas Eve, 2009; Jerry, a deaf springer spaniel; and Peppy, a 15-year-old border collie whose former family surrendered him to the Victoria SPCA when they were downsizing their home.

The Bonds have been touched by all these animals, and have done everything they can to make the last years the best ones possible. “I think you end up loving the seniors more because you know that you don’t have a lot of time with them,” says Bond. “It makes the relationship even more special.”


December 12, 2011

Justice Janveaux — fundraising hero

To say that teen Justice Janveaux is an animal lover would be an understatement. Not only is she fond of animals, Janveaux has become a fundraising superstar to help the animals. The Campbell River native is extremely active in her community raising funds for animals in need and educating her peers and other community members about animal welfare issues.

One of Justice’s many achievements includes campaigning for pet-safe antifreeze. She has raised awareness in her community about the lethal effects of ethylene glycol-based antifreeze on animals and presented 1,000 signatures to parliament calling for a ban on the sale of toxic forms of antifreeze.  For the past seven years, Justice has also been the top youth pledge collector for the Scotiabank & BC SPCA Paws for a Cause Walk. In 2010, she earned the award for overall top individual fundraiser.

“Hearing the amazing survival stories and meeting the animals that the BC SPCA cares for keeps me motivated and excited every day,” said Justice after finding out she was the top pledge collector for the 2010 event. Justice hopes to one day turn her passion for animal welfare into a career as a veterinarian.

Photo caption: Justice Janveaux with Marguerite Vogel, past BC SPCA Board president at the annual BC SPCA awards ceremony.  Justice won the Stu Rammage Award for her outstanding efforts on behalf of B.C. animals.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.











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