A 10-year-old Winfield girl's artistic tribute to her beloved pets who passed away will be seen on 5,000 T-shirts across B.C.
Jayden DePlonty's picture of her cats Eemo and Punkin and her 17-year-old dog Sadie, adopted from the SPCA, was the winning entry in the Scotiabank & BC SPCA Paws for a Cause T-shirt contest.
"Jayden found a wonderful way to honour the animals she loved, and also to help other homeless animals," says Denise Meade, director of development for the non-profit society.
Jayden's entry, which she says was done in memory of "the three greatest pets ever," raised $875 for Paws for a Cause. Her drawing will be used on the front of the official Paws for a Cause youth T-shirts, which will be worn by animal lovers from Prince Rupert to Penticton and Comox to Cranbrook.
Contest honourable mentions were awarded to Emma Kononowicz, Darynn Bednarczyk and Kristin Linkletter, who all raised more than $600 to help animals.
Jayden's mom, Genie, says her daughter has always been an animal lover. In fact, at the age of four, Jayden, then in preschool, announced to her teacher that she wanted to be a vegetarian.
"When I asked her about it, she said she wanted to help sick animals, and then I knew she meant to say 'veterinarian,'" laughs Genie. "She just didn't get the pronunciation right."
Jayden has participated in the Paws for a Cause walk in Kelowna for the past three years and continues to raise the bar each year. Her goal this year is to raise $1,000.
Jayden's only regret is that her elderly Norwegian elkhound, Mako, passed away two weeks after she created her winning artwork, and so her tribute to her former pets seems incomplete.
"Although Mako isn't in Jayden's drawing, Jayden is honouring her by bringing attention to the plight of all homeless animals in our province, and giving them the chance to have the kind of home that Jayden and her family gave to Mako," said Meade.
Paws for a Cause will be held in September in 36 communities across the province, from Kelowna to Abbotsford and Haida Gwaii to Cranbrook. In Kelowna, Paws for a Cause takes place on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 10:30 a.m. (registration at 9 a.m.) at City Park. Visit spca.bc.ca/walk to register.
Paws for a Cause is generously sponsored provincially by Scotiabank, Global BC, Bosley's Pet Food Plus, TV Week Magazine, Seeya Later Ranch, WestJet and Coast Hotels & Resorts.
Photo captions: Jaden DePlonty (above) with her winning T-shirt design and with Mako (below), her Norwegian elkhound.
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.