Realtor ramps up SPCA campaign

Alicia Elson
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Company commits to raising at least $100,000 for a new animal shelter

Anne Squires, owner of Exit Reality on the Rock, Newfoundland and Labrador was in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Thursday to announce a $100,000 donation to the local SPCA shelter and the launch of a campaign titled, Exit Cares for Critters. SPCA volunteers, shelter critters and residents of Goose Bay were in attendance for the announcements.

The Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA has been trying for more than a year to raise money for a new regional animal shelter.

Last Thursday it got a real shot in the arm.

Anne Squires of Exit Realty on the Rock Newfoundland and Labrador was in town to announce a $100,000 donation to the organization and to unveil a new campaign - Exit Cares for Critters.

"I think improving the long-term SPCA facilities in Happy Valley-Goose Bay doesn't need a Band-Aid, it needs a whole new look," Squires said.

"It is our intent to work with the local council members, the local SPCA volunteers and businesses, both locally and (in St. John's). Our goal is to ensure that all those furry little creatures - by June 2013, just nine months away - will have a cosy place to lay their heads at night."

Squires said there are 32 employees at Exit's home base in St. John's who have come on board as volunteers to lead the campaign.

"Our goal, through our efforts and your combined support, is a minimum of $100,000 to open the doors for a new shelter in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

"Let's build bigger and better for SPCA Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Exit Cares for Critters begins."

Squires said the company will launch a website which will include an online auction component.

"We are going to auction an array of items and, hopefully, have it ready for the need of November," she said.

"Hopefully, the next time that I am back here we are going to be ready to turn a key in the door to the new building."

The support from Exit Realty was greatly appreciated.

"We were overwhelmed, just blown away that this company would take it upon themselves to help out our organization," said Bonnie Learning of the SPCA.

"It was completely unexpected. ...We have a goal and a date in mind, which will be June 2013, to get this building done."

Learning says the organization has raised $60,000 in the past year for the new shelter.

"It would take us a long time to get to a new building, so to have somebody come on to say, 'We're going to fundraise a minimum of $100,000 to help you guys out and to turn a key by June 2013,' it means the world to us because we would never be able to do it on our own."

She said plans have already been drafted for the shelter and it is expected it will be located where the existing structure stands, in the area known as the Canadian Side.

"Our plans for our new building (are) bigger than what we have now," said Learning. "Our new building is going to be much more modern, efficient and going to be completely up to date on the standard fire codes.

"It's going to be brand-spanking new, so it's going to be a more safe place, a more efficient place, a more friendly atmosphere for the animals that come into our shelter and that come into our care, and also a much more nicer place for our employees and our volunteers to come and do their job," she said.

"A big thank you to Exit Realty on the Rock for coming in and for this corporate support, and we can't thank them enough. And we will be there with bells on when the time comes to unlock that door to the new building," Learning said.


Organizations: Salvation Army

Geographic location: Happy Valley, Goose Bay

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