Tabby cat lying down wearing Christmas costume with bells

Local Ontario SPCA seeking donations for upcoming “Paw it Forward” online auction

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Wednesday November 25, 2020

Supporting local businesses and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) Renfrew County Animal Centre has never been easier than with the Paws to Support Local Campaign.

The Ontario SPCA is encouraging people to shop at small, locally-owned businesses for their holiday gift-giving needs, and to consider purchasing a gift card, product or service at the same time to donate to the animal centre for their upcoming Paw it Forward fundraising online auction.

“I think it is a super important initiative, and it’s an easy way for everybody to get involved,” Heather Jobe, Ontario SPCA Renfrew County Animal Centre Community Development Coordinator. “It was created to help us support each other. I see it as an opportunity to support local businesses who are facing their own challenges.”

With the current world situation, small businesses have been severely impacted by the pandemic and that economic distress extends to the Ontario SPCA, which had to cancel its biggest fundraisers of the year.

Jobe and her team decided to organize an online auction from Dec. 1 to 15 to recoup some of the lost donations they depend on to ensure quality care for the animals in the centre.

But they realized it would be unfair to ask the business community to donate as they are also having a tough time keeping their doors open.

So a compromise was made. Donors can shop at area stores and, if they choose, purchase items to donate. These would then be auctioned off, raising much-needed funds for the charitable organization while supporting local businesses - a win-win situation.

“Because we forget that if we don’t support and invest in our own community, that will dwindle and fade away,” said Jobe.

If a local business, vendor or artisan would rather just donate an auction item, they are more than welcome to do so.

To ensure participant safety, staff from the Ontario SPCA can pick up donations directly from the business. The deadline to contribute is Nov. 30.

Anyone who misses out on this initiative can still help out the Ontario SPCA in other ways. Donations are always welcome, and like the auction, staff can pick up whatever item are donated directly from the store.

“My hope is that this program extends past Christmas,” said Jobe, adding if the centre needs supplies, that potential donors purchase them from local stores.

They can also look into iAdopt for the Holidays, which runs until Dec. 31. It encourages people to look into adopting an animal, while enticing them with the possibility of winning two $500 VISA gift cards - one for the winner and one to be gifted to the animal centre of their choice.

If you need more info as a shopper or a business, please reach out to Heather Jobe at or visit their Facebook page.