First Annual SPCA Gala a howling success

Elisabeth Dowson
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The First Annual SPCA Gala attracted 200 animal lovers from across the region to share in an evening of great food catered by Soup ‘n’ Such, a surprising guest speaker, wonderful door prizes, two auctions, dinner music and entertainment by comedians from LMAO Entertainment in Calgary in support of the Swift Current SPCA.

“We’ve been floating this idea around for a couple of years, but we wanted to wait until we had enough people to really make this happen. I have an amazing fund-raising team, and this was a big group effort, but special thanks have to go to Elissa Nast for all her hard work,” said SPCA Board of Director Vice President Melanie Weinbender.

“The main thing that we’re hoping for the SPCA is to raise some funds for the renovations there and it’s a night out for everybody. It’s something different - they can come and have some fun, and in turn we can raise some money for the animals.” Weinbender estimated that the total amount raised at the Gala was close to $15,000.

Guest Speaker Tami Wall shared her family’s experiences with the two dogs they have adopted from the SPCA over the years, in addition to finding time in a busy household with three children and a Premier husband to foster several dogs and other critters.

Using a slide show, Wall highlighted the joys and challenges that come with adopting and fostering animals.

“This is our first dog Oreo. We had her from 1996 to 2004. She was our very first dog,” Wall said of the Labrador retriever mixed with German shorthair. “She had a hole in her heart, but she lived a very long, healthy life despite that.

“This is Zeke, our second dog. I call him Showboat Zeke,” Wall said, referring to the Border collie cross’s apparent self-awareness of his good looks. “He was not very healthy. He had an injured rear leg. We nursed him back to health and his back leg still bothers him but it is very functional.”

Wall recalled the highlights of having a dog in the family, including wake-up calls at 7:30 every morning, food being licked from the hands and faces of children, a scarcity of household flies because the dogs caught them, home and yard protection, and dogs being dressed up for Halloween parties.

Each dog also had its own penchant for musical talent.

“Oreo is famous for singing. Zeke also likes to perform. He is right there singing along,” Wall said of their musical canine family that accompanied the vocal and instrumental practices held by their humans.

The Walls have a history with the SPCA that includes fostering. Several dogs and a Guinea pig were among animals in their care that have since been adopted to loving families.

“We have done some fostering for the SPCA and dog sitting. Socializing is very important for your dog and the dogs from the SPCA, so if you haven’t fostered before, in your pamphlet, there is a fostering pamphlet, so consider doing that.

“We have a very busy family with three kids and other things, and we always manage to take some time to make sure we have an extra dog sometimes, or other animals as well.

“Adopting a pet is a wonderful thing,” Wall concluded. “If you haven’t done it before, or you know people who are thinking about it, please consider some of the options and some of the fun things you could have in your life.”

The Swift Current SPCA is currently at their capacity with dogs, and just recently had two pregnant cats deliver large litters of kittens.

“We’re hoping by bringing that to light here it might prompt some donations or adoptions,” Weinbender said.

She added that there might be an adoption fair at Swift Current Mall in October, but otherwise their next big event is the Santa Paws fundraiser and calendar sale at the end of November.

The Swift Current SPCA is located at 2101 Knight Crescent and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Contact them by email at or by phone at 306-773-1805, or visit their website at

Organizations: Swift Current SPCA

Geographic location: Swift Current

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