Fort Simpson is challenging the territory’s other 32 communities to raise donations for the NWT SPCA.
Troy Bellefontaine, a village councillor who organized the initiative, says many communities rely on services the SPCA provides such as spay-neuter programs and rehoming dogs.
The organization is struggling this year and has not been able to host as many fundraisers due to the pandemic.
“In 2019, it cost the NWT SPCA over $600,000 to provide the services they offer,” a letter prepared by the Village of Fort Simpson states.
“In order to keep the shelter running and providing all the essential services they provide, we need to work together to help raise money to keep them going, especially through these difficult times.”
Bellefontaine says it’s not about how much each community individually can donate, as not all communities have the same resources.
“It’s not about shaming people into anything. It’s just about ‘hey, this is the right thing to do, let’s work together,’” he said.
“They’re there for us, they help our community vet clinics.”
The Village of Fort Simpson has already donated more than $26,000 to the NWT SPCA through various events and donations from local organizations.
“We have seen children donate their birthday money to the animals, while others sold painted rocks or lemonade with all proceeds going to the NWT SPCA,” the village’s letter said.
“We wanted to follow the good example set by those children and set an example for other communities to step up and do whatever they can to help.”
Bellefontaine asked community administrations who donate as part of the challenge to let the SPCA know so they can track the progress of the initiative.