Santa Paws is headed back to Nanaimo this holiday season!

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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!

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 info@spiritsmisison.com 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
President
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!

Sincerely,

Joanne Caldwell
President

 

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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!

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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!

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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 (info@spiritsmission.com) 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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Providing preventative medication to keep pets healthy

In early February, Spirit’s Mission got the call. There were five dogs wandering in an isolated community in northern B.C. that did not seem to have homes and were looking for food.

Spirit’s Mission’s first priority is to always try and keep pets with their families, but if there are no homes, we will relocate pets to fur-ever homes.

As it turned out, one dog did have a home, and two dogs found homes in the community. The two remaining dogs were turned over to Spirit’s Mission and were named Oscar and Felix.

Oscar Feb 2017 Packing 8 mos old  Felix Feb 2017 Packing 8 mos old

After a check-up with Nechako Valley Animal Health Services, Oscar and Felix were transported to southern B.C. to be placed in foster homes until adopted. Once there, the dogs also received another check-up with a veterinarian. The re-check found that one had a mild case of Demodex Mange. This is the type of mange that cannot be transmitted to another dog or human. Demodex Mange is usually the result of an animal having a compromised immune system from not getting enough nourishment, or who are sick, or who are heavily infested with ticks or fleas. Mange can be very itchy but it is also very treatable.

Spirit’s Mission followed up with the community in northern B.C. and worked with them to educate the community with information pamphlets, and to provide preventative treatment if any family was concerned their pets may have mange as well.

Over the last few weeks, preventative medication was shipped to the community, and to let them know that a booster dosage of medication would be available during our Wellness Clinic 2017.

Because of the support of our volunteers and donations, not only did Oscar and Felix get a chance to find fur-ever homes, but many families were given the opportunity to have healthier pets. On behalf of all of them, thank you for your continued support!

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Donated Aeroplan miles go a long way for the animals

Did you know you can donate your unused Aeroplan miles to Spirit’s Mission to help animals in need? These donations are actually vital in helping us to fly volunteers north to our annual wellness and spay/neuter clinics.

In fact, this year alone, you have already donated enough Aeroplan miles for us to fly 3 volunteers, roundtrip, to our Spring Wellness Clinic! That creates huge savings on travel costs – an important consideration for an all-volunteer, small nonprofit organization like Spirit’s Mission. We can’t thank you enough for generously supporting Spirit’s Mission with your donated Aeroplan miles.

Of course, 3 volunteers aren’t nearly enough to organize a successful wellness clinic.  With multiple veterinarians and assistants, groomers, and intake volunteers and those helping the waiting animals remain calm and stress-free, the travel costs can quickly add up. But we couldn’t carry off these clinics without our dedicated volunteers – it’s most certainly a team effort!

With that in mind, we hope you’ll consider supporting our Spring Wellness Clinic by donating your unused Aeroplan miles. It’s easy to do – just go to the Spirit’s Mission charity page on Beyond Miles and click the Donate Now button. You will be asked to either log in or to create an account – just follow the prompts on your screen and let us know if you run into any difficulties.

We’ll be announcing more about our upcoming wellness clinic soon – including other ways you can get involved. Until then, check out this post from last year’s Spay & Neuter clinic!

Saik'us May 7-8 (17 of 85)

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Support Spirit’s Mission while walking your dog!

Did you know you can support animals in need simply while walking your dog, hiking, jogging, or even horse-back riding?

To get started, just download the free ResQwalk app from iTunes or Google Play and select Spirit’s Mission as your charity of choice. Be sure to hit the “Start ResQwalk” button before you start your walk, hike or any other outdoor activity that can be measured by GPS nd involves a speed of 14 mph or less.

An added personal benefit is that you can track your total kilometres for the week, set goals, and work towards better fitness!

Need detailed instructions to get started? Here you go:

1. After downloading, open the Resqwalk app.

2. Complete the registration by entering your email address and a password or by logging in via Facebook.

3. Hit the ResQwalk button and search “Spirit’s Mission” – be sure to include the apostrophe!

4. Hit the “Start ResQwalk” button and start walking. Be sure to hit the “Finish” button when you have finished your walk.

5. Finally, remember to open the ResQwalk app and start your Spirit’s Mission ResQwalk every time you are walking, jogging, hiking, riding or doing other outdoor activities.

About ResQwalk:

ResQwalk is a free mobile app that enables you to raise money and resources for animal welfare organizations, simply by walking. Each month they announce a ResQpool of cash and other resources that have been provided by corporate sponsors. In order to earn part of the pool for your favorite animal welfare organization, all you have to do is download the ResQwalk app and start walking!

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