Best SPCA in B.C. award

‘The work the volunteers do allows staff to do the sometimes tough work we have to do’

From left

Parksville Qualicum Beach has the best SPCA in the province.

The local branch of the the B.C. SPCA, located in Errington, was recently honoured by the provincial organization, singling out the work of manager Nadine Durante, who in turn passed the accolades on to the community.

“This community really does so much to support us,” she said pointing out the small staff wouldn’t be able to operate without the more than 2,300 hours of volunteer fundraising and 4,200 hours of volunteer hands-on work every year.

“The work the volunteers do allows staff to do the sometimes tough work we have to do,” she said.

On top of that she thanked the community for the donation and purchase of items at their fundraising events, and the adoption of animals by the public, which was up an impressive 29 per cent in 2013, which the B.C. SPCA pointed out with the annual award.

“Although any of our branches are deserving of recognition, Parksville does stand out,” said B.C. SPCA Vancouver Island, Salt Spring and Powell River regional manager Graeme Wright in a news release.

“There’s a feeling when you first walk in the door — it’s a welcoming environment,” he said. “The staff and volunteers are friendly and helpful. It’s a warm, hospitable feeling and (the branch) is always organized and clean. They demonstrate a high level of professionalism and take their shared responsibility seriously, but they know how to have fun, too.”

B.C. SPCA chief operations officer Mark Tahar said the branch met each of its financial targets in 2013, excelling in adoptions and fundraising, adding “We never receive customer complaints about them, which is significant, given the sometimes emotional nature of animal welfare work.”

In 2013 the community helped them raise more than $41,500 and the branch helped a record 278 animals find homes. Wright said that Durante and her staff and volunteers are always willing to help whenever the opportunity arises, and work hard to keep a close relationship with their Community Council.  Durante and community council chair Sabrina Qureshi, who attended the annual meeting in Vancouver, were completely shocked by the award and it was an honour just to be there and meet some of the other people and heroic surviving animals that were honoured.

They will host their annual Paws for a Cause fundraising walk in Parksville Community Park on Sept. 7. Visit www.spca.bc.ca/branches/parkville-qualicum-beach/ for more information.

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