Winter Update

This September Spirit’s Mission volunteers were honoured to be invited back to Saik’uz First Nations by Chief and Council. Saik’uz is a remote community outside of Vanderhoof, BC without easy access to veterinary care and is leading the way in Northern BC remote communities by their commitment and vision towards a long-term sustainable animal wellness plan in their community.

Our September visit incorporated an Animal Wellness Clinic where we were joined by Dr. Cori Stephen from Nechako NValley Animal Health Services. Dr. Stephen has donated hundreds of hours of her time to help the animals of Saik’uz. Outside of this annual two day clinic Dr. Stephen is always on call for Spirit’s Mission for veterinary care. We cannot thank her enough! We also thank Dr. Sylvia Hall Andrews, from Petroglyph Animal Hospital in Nanaimo, who has organized all the logistics of hosting an onsite clinic including permits and medical supplies over the past several years. We also had a Band Office employee help us this year who learned how to do a wellness clinic for the community in the future!

In two short days, 55 dogs and 9 cats were given health checks as well as vaccinations, deworming, microchips, and medication for a variety of conditions as needed. Additionally, 1 dog and 2 cats were re homed at the request of the owners. And the emergency pet food bank was replenished.

Since the 2017 Wellness Clinic, 23 dogs and cats received spay/neuter and vet care off site, and 5 dogs were re-homed as requested by the owners. Since the Wellness Clinic in September 2018: there have been an additional 10 requests for spay/neuter of companion animals; a dog that needs re-homing; some cases of cats with ringworm which has the potential to spread quickly throughout the community without intervention; and a feral cat colony that needs to be managed prior to winter setting in. We are also working on trapping a feral cat colony, to give them shelter before winter sets in.

We have just finished a 5 year contract with Saik’uz and will continue to work with them towards sustaining an animal management plan if they request us to do so. We would also be happy to continue providing food for the emergency pet food bank in the Band Office. Outcomes of this contract have been that the pet population is now under control through spaying, neutering and education. Dog packing and bites are no longer a regular occurrence. Saik’uz’ new Band Manager commented on how pleased he was with the health and happiness of Saik’uz’ pets.

We are thankful for the Band Office staff and people in the community who have supported the animals along this journey. We are deeply grateful, and have deep respect for Chief and Council’s leadership in this unique initiative.

Donations from you, Saik’uz First Nations, and others have helped this community’s companion animals lead a healthier life. Spirit’s Mission volunteers have travelled with donated Aeroplan Miles, and the veterinarians have provided their services at no cost. Animal drug companies and veterinarians have also donated medical supplies whenever possible.

We are all about healthier animals = healthier communities. Gail would be proud.

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Announcing new membership opportunities

To: Our Spirit’s Mission Supporters

We are pleased that, because of your support, Spirit’s Mission Rescue continues to provide basic necessities for companion animals in isolated communities. This includes providing food for an emergency animal food bank, vaccinations, spay and neuter, transporting and rehoming animals who cannot be cared for at home, humane education and veterinarian referral and care. In addition, the Board has been raising funds as much as possible.

We realize that our work requires ongoing financial support, outside of what limited resources we have this far. We have an ongoing need for a Fundraising Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator. We are stretched thin, and need your help to continue.

In order to continue to cover the basic costs of our animal welfare work and expand our volunteer base, we need to seek a much larger group of supporters, while also ensuring we have a revenue flow.

In 2018, we are asking you to formally join our Spirit’s Mission team by becoming a member.

Here are what membership entails:

  • For $10.00 a year, you will become a Spirit’s Mission Member!
  • For $25.00 a year, your entire family will become Spirit’s Mission Members.

Our membership dues are payable by etransfer to, or by cheque to: Spirit’s Mission Rescue, PO Box 95, Gabriola, BC V0R 1X0. A tax receipt is issued for all membership dues.

Please feel free to contact me directly at 250.938.2211, or any Board of Director, if you have any questions or concerns,

Thank you for your continued support!

Joanne Caldwell
Spirit’s Mission Rescue Society

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2017 Year in Review: A heartfelt thank you from our president

I am watching the snow fall, and thinking of the accomplishments we have made in 2017. We have been busy at Spirit’s Mission Rescue Society.


This past spring, we once again visited Saik’uz, outside of Vanderhoof. Time has gone by swiftly – we are entering our 5th year of our 5 year agreement in 2018. We have developed a strong partnership with the Band and Council. We have visited the community every spring, providing a Wellness Clinic that includes veterinarian check ups, dental exams, vaccinations, micro chipping and grooming. During the year, we also continue to provide spay and neuter assistance for the community animals, and rehome those who can no longer be cared for at home.

All because of your donations and support!


During the summer, Spirit’s Mission volunteers answered the call for help during the devastating BC wildfires. Vicki McDonald and I deployed to Kamloops and 100 Mile. I was focused on the dog and cat shelter in Kamloops (and various birds and rodents), while Vicki coordinated the movement of animals out of the fire evacuation zones, and transferred them to safety in Kamloops.


The hours were long, from 12 to 24 hour shifts, without any days to rest. Our hearts were broken for the animals evacuated, and elated for all of those who we brought to safety and reunited them with their families.


Spirit’s Mission Rescue has also become a member of the Animal Welfare Network in BC, a partnership with Paws for Hope to set new standards for rescues across BC. Part of this is supporting the ban on the sales of dogs and cats in pet stores, that are not rescued animals, but animals bred for profit.

Our Board has also reviewed plans for 2018, and more will be coming about that soon.

Throughout the year we also continue to help animals in need of medical attention. Our most recent case involved a beagle, who suffered widespread infection after being attacked by a pack of dogs. We are happy to report he is now healed and loving life in a new home. Thanks again to Victoria Humane Society for their ongoing assistance and partnership in this case and others throughout the year!

beagle beagle3

We are so grateful to be able to help all these animals – all because of your support! From all of us at Spirit’s Mission, and the animals and families we serve, we would like to offer our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude.

Here’s to more good things to come in 2018!

Joanne Caldwell
Spirit’s Mission Rescue Society

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Santa Paws is headed back to Nanaimo this holiday season!


Santa Paws is coming to Nanaimo on three different Saturdays to spread good cheer, pose for family and pet photos, and help Spirit’s Mission raise funds for our life-saving work for companion animals in Northern BC.

For just $10, we’ll take a high-quality photo of your pet(s) with Santa and conveniently email you the photo after the event. You can use the digital file to post on social media, send to your friends, or print copies for your holiday cards. Pose as a family or get a picture with just your pets and Santa, either way, these photographs will be a beautiful memory for years to come. All pets are welcome – last year Santa saw dogs of all shapes and sizes, cats of every colour and we’ve even had pictures taken with two very special and very fancy guinea pigs!


There are three dates and locations to choose from (please click on the links for addresses):

Each session will run from 11am until 3pm. Remember, the more, the merrier, so share the event with your friends and family – you could even meet up for a photo together and then head for a hot drink and a stop at the dog park afterwards! Last year’s events raised a whopping $1500 towards our life-saving work for animals in BC – let’s see if we can raise the bar even higher this year!

Please bring cash to the event – there will be no credit card option available. We’ll also be selling our Pawsitive Links charm bracelets for $15 – they make great Christmas gifts!


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We need your help: Volunteer opportunities available across the province

Are you an outgoing people person with flair for putting on special events? Do you have a passion for fundraising and donor stewardship? We need your help!

We’re looking for volunteers to help lead some very special projects. Volunteering can be ongoing or event or project-based, and we have opportunities available throughout the province, as much of the work can be done from home and/or in your own community!

Here are some of the areas where we could use assistance:

  • Organizing local fundraisers, including Paint Nites, pub nights and garage sales. We’re also open to all ideas – this is your chance to get creative!
  • Distributing our Pawsitive Links bracelets to local businesses and coordinating local sales
  • Setting up a Rescue RoundTable networking group for animal rescue professionals in northern BC
  • Updating records, including our fundraising and volunteer databases
  • Assisting at local events with set up, take down, and everything in between

If there are other ways you’d like to help that you don’t see mentioned above, please get in touch, as we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email us at or submit a volunteer application.

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Please join us for a Paint Night fundraiser this summer

Vernon_PaintNite Nanaimo_Paint_Nite

Looking for a fun event that you can attend on your own or with a group of friends, where you can create a beautiful work of art AND support the animals at the same time?

Look no further!

At this fun and dynamic fundraiser, an experienced artist will help you create a beautiful work of art to take home with you! Come out for some laughs and drinks while embracing your creative side and supporting a good cause. A wonderful idea for a girls’ night or or for team building. All materials are provided and you’ll paint the displayed picture (click the links below to see which pictures will be painted at which events). Must be legal drinking age to attend.

There are three different dates and locations to choose from:

July 13, 2017 – Vernon, BC
July 19, 2017 – Falkland, BC
August 24, 2017 – Nanaimo, BC

Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased directly through the links above.

We’ll also have our Pawsitive Links bracelets available, as well as as silent auction prizes, for even more fun! Be sure to invite your friends – check out our Events tab on Facebook to invite your friends.

Hope to see you at one of these exciting events!

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Thank you for another successful Wellness Clinic!

We are so grateful to have been invited back to Saik’uz this year for a Wellness Clinic in May.  We would like to thank the community for opening their doors to us and bringing in their pets for their annual health check.  49 dog owners and 10 cat owners brought in their companion animals to make sure they would stay healthy.  What a great way to show their love for their pets!

We were also asked to find homes for 5 dogs whose family were not able to keep them.  A loving and difficult decision to make.

Luv bug waiting for his appt_  All ready!

Click here for more photos!

We had the opportunity to meet with the newly elected Chief and Band Council while we were in Saik’uz.  They taught us that the Saik’uz language name for dog means “Closer to the Spirit”.  Their ancestors used dog hides to make their drums, so when drumming, they were “Closer to the Spirit”.  And in the Spring, there is a man in the moon, and a dog is in front of him.  And in the Fall, the dog is behind him.  And the name for horses are “bigger dogs”.  We were all fascinated listening to their cultural stories.  What an honour to have this shared with us.

The Chief and Band Council are a committed group, and we thank them for spending time with us to share what Spirit’s Mission does and the goals we have jointly met.  What a powerful group of women!  We are excited, moving forward, on the potential this community has.

When we started working with Saik’uz four years ago, we wanted to partner with them to provide regular health care for companion animals, including a spay and neuter clinic.   We can happily say our partnership has done that, plus met the following goals during this time:

  • We have touched the lives of 224 animals since then, in health care and relocating those in need. Our partner vets also continue to provide sterilizations during the year when Spirit’s Mission volunteers are not at Saik’uz.
  • We have found new homes for the animals that don’t have one, are abandoned, or whose families can no longer care for them.
  • We assisted the community in setting up an emergency food bank for animals when their families cannot afford food.
  • We jointly helped animals that were badly injured, sick or were not able to be cared for.
  • We have been welcomed to continue to provide humane education to the youth in the community.

Now those are goals met that we can all be proud of!

Special thanks to Saik’uz First Nations; Dr. Cori Stephen, Dr. Aleta Schmah and Dr. Sylvia Hall Andrews.  Did you know these amazing vets do these clinics at no charge?  They donate their time to save lives.

Also thanks to volunteers Kerri-Lynne Wilson, Madeleine Layton, Christina Pommelet, Valerie Ingram, Willow Eyford, Debbie Knakbe and Penny Stone, who all took time from work and their families to give their time for the animals of Saik’uz. And to Nechako Valley Animal Health Services, Petroglyth Animal Hospital, Crooked Lake Ranch, Lakes Animal Friendship Society and Victoria Humane Society for educating, caring, fostering and adopting animals to furever homes.

Our next focus is on raising funds to continue our work.  Check out our Facebook Page for all the latest events, including the dates of our three upcoming Paint Nite fundraisers happening in Nanaimo, Vernon and Falkland this summer.  We will also be at the Cedar Flea Market and Swap Meet on August 24, so please come by to say hello!

Let’s keep moving forward!

Joanne Caldwell
Spirit’s Mission

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Counting down the days to our 2017 Wellness Clinic!

To our wonderful supporters,

We are counting down the days until we arrive in Saik’uz for our third annual Wellness Clinic. Saik’uz is a First Nations Band just south of Vanderhoof, in northern BC. The Band and Community welcomes us each year as their guests, to support their efforts in becoming a sustainable, healthy animal community.

Saik'us May 7-8 (1 of 85)

There is a great deal of time and preparation needed to serve the animals in the area. The Board cannot thank the following professionals enough, for their willingness to donate their time to the animals as part of our Wellness Team.

Dr. Cori Stephen
Nechako Animal Health Services

Dr. Aleta Schmah
South Coast Veterinary Clinic

Dr. Sylvia Hall Andrews
Petroglyph Animal Hospital

We would very much appreciate it if you could support them, because they give so much to the animals that Spirit’s Mission helps.

We are onsite and open for the animals on May 6th and 7th, 2017, all because you supported us with your time, funds or Aeroplan Miles. A donation of $15 vaccinates one animal, and potentially saves their life.

Thanks for all you do for the animals!


Joanne Caldwell


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Our 2017 Wellness Clinic is coming up on May 6 & 7 – and we need your help!

We’re excited to announce the dates of our 2017 Wellness Clinic! On May 6 & 7, we’ll be in Saik’uz to provide local pet dogs and cats with health checks and preventative health care, including vaccinations and deworming. We’re also happy to have Lakes Animal Friendship Society back again this year with a humane education program for local kids.

At a Wellness Clinic, community residents can seek medical advice and services for their pets. Common concerns include minor wound care and overdue teeth, grooming and toenail issues. Each pet also gets an overall check up and basic health care such as de-wormer, flea and tick medication, and vaccines.

Saik'us May 7-8 (12 of 85)

Of course, we couldn’t do this life-saving work without our amazing donors and supporters! Your Aeroplan donations go a long way towards getting our volunteers into the community, which is located near Vanderhoof. But there is also ground travel to consider, for both people and supplies, as well as lodging for volunteers. Donations of vaccinations and dewormers are critical and we also rely on fundraising initiatives, such as our Pawsitive Links program, to raise the additional funds needed to cover expenses.

You can help us make our Spring Wellness Clinic a success by donating your Aeroplan miles or purchasing a Pawsitive Links bracelet. Or, if you would like to make an online financial donation through CanadaHelps, please click here. Remember, just $15 helps us vaccinate one dog or cat!

Saik'us May 7-8 (19 of 85)

To those who have already donated, we offer our heartfelt thanks. We already have enough Aeroplan miles to fly three volunteers, round-trip, and that goes a very long way toward offsetting our costs. It is your valued support that make these events possible!

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Guess Koda’s breed and win a $50 gift certificate!

Can you correctly guess the breed of rescue dog Koda? Submit your entries for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate of your choice!

koda koda2

Koda is a 7-year-old, 60-pound rescue dog who belongs to our vice president, Kerri-Lynne. Koda lives for his ball and loves swimming, is very task oriented and likes other dogs but his number one are his people. Kerri-Lynne is offering a $50 gift certificate to one person who correctly identifies Koda’s breed!

To enter, make a donation to Spirit’s Mission through e-transfer ( or by CanadaHelps. Then head over to Kerri-Lynne’s Facebook post and comment with your first 3 breed guesses. A DNA test will be conducted via Wisdom Panel 4.0 and we’ll award the gift certificate to the person who most closely identifies Koda’s breed (or if there is a tie, we’ll do a random draw between those with the correct guesses). The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to a business of their choice.

Hurry – this contest won’t last long!

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