Paws for a Cause leaves lasting imprint with SPCA

Staff ~ The Southwest Booster
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Tattoo artist Miss Boy Clyde of After Forever Tattoos (left) and SPCA Vice President Melanie Weinbender (right) display some of the tattoos residents were able to purchase during Paws for Cause.  The weeklong event raised $2,000 for the SPCA.

Paws for a Cause gave Swift Current pet lovers an opportunity to show their support for the SPCA while getting some new art, and many were happy to take advantage off it.

The weeklong fundraiser at Forever Tattoos gave residents a chance to get an animal paw tattoo for $40, with half of the proceeds going towards the SPCA.  The response was outstanding.

In the end, a total of $2,000 was raised during the week, and that number could have been even higher if not for the local tattoo parlour’s busy schedule.

“I came by here a couple of times and they had people lined up waiting,” said Melanie Weinbender, the SPCA’s vice president.  “They actually turned people away that they didn’t have enough time to do.”

Things were so busy that Forever Tattoos occasionally had all three artists it employs working on the paw tattoos.  They said they were caught off guard by the demand, but they aren’t complaining either.  It’s a nice problem to have.

“We were going to just have one chair dedicated for (paw tattoos) and carry on with business as usual,” said one tattoo artist, who goes by the nickname Miss Boy Clyde.  “But with the high demand, at any given time there were two and sometimes three of us trying to keep up, and even then people were showing up and having to leave.”

The overwhelming response couldn’t have made the SPCA any happier.  They’ll put the proceeds towards their spray and neuter program, which Weinbender called one of the shelter’s most important programs. 

“We have such an overpopulation of cats and dogs, especially of cats and kittens,” she said.  “We are overrun to the point where we can’t even accept any more kittens, and there’s just more out there.  We can’t help all of them.”

Clyde, who was the driving force behind the event, said she noticed the overcrowding as well.  After seeing how many animals were in need of homes she thought something needed to be done.

“When you see the shelters that are full and all the volunteers that are constantly struggling trying to keep up with demand for these animals that are out there getting euthanized, something’s got to be done,” she said.

For her part, Weinbender said she was pleasantly surprised to get a call from Clyde asking if they could join forces.  She even got a paw tattoo of her own to show her support.  She was quick to credit the tattoo parlour for the work they did.

“They really did the work,” she said with a chuckle.  “We just showed up.”

While the parlour did underestimate how popular the event would be, it’s not unheard of.  Paw and name tattoos have been quite popular with pet owners for years.

“People are always getting paw prints to represent their fur family,” Clyde explained.  “People are really passionate about their pets.”

While the week long campaign did prove to be successful, the next one will likely only last a day.  Clyde said the campaign was awesome, but holding it over seven days did create some difficulties.

“It kind of set us back a little bit too, with all our regular stuff we're trying to get caught up on,” she said.

However, Clyde, who called pets a passion of hers, said they’re more than willing to do it again next year.  That sits just fine with the SPCA.

“We think that it’s great that any organization that wants to help support us goes out on their own and does some of these little third party fundraising things,” Weinbender said.  “They raised $2,000, which is incredible for our spray and neuter program.”

Weinbender added that the SPCA gets more than three quarters of their funding from donations and fundraisers like this one.  Their next fundraiser is the Bill Lee Family Golf Tournament at the Chinook Golf Course on August 8.  Anyone interested in entering a team can contact the SPCA or Melanie Weinbender.

Geographic location: Swift Current

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