The Barrie Animal Centre is looking for around 15 adult volunteers to help out with its upcoming tag days next week in an effort to collect "much-needed" funds to assist with animal welfare and medical expenses at the facility.
Crystal Anderson, the community development co-ordinator with the Barrie Animal Centre of the Ontario SPCA, says the organization is looking for people to help out at 10 locations throughout the city on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20, or both days, if possible. Shifts are between two and four hours long.
Anderson says she has around 45 people lined up for next week's fundraiser, but still needs at least 15 more.
"The problem I'm running into is because of the age," Anderson told BarrieToday. "Around this time of year, everyone is at their cottage.
"I have a good number of volunteers here, but a lot of them are away for the weekend that I need them," she added. "Also, a good portion of them are people who are under the age of 18. Because they're Beer Store and LCBO locations, the requirement is that they're over 18."
This year marks the first time the organization will be doing tag days in Barrie.
"We've been given the opportunity to tag outside 10 locations, which is huge, because even one location not being filled, that could cost us a couple hundred dollars," Anderson said. "We also just want to get the word out that we're here."
Tag-day volunteers will be tasked with standing outside the locations with a special shirt on, informing people who they are with. They will hold a donation box with a sign people them also identifying their affiliation.
"People will come up, drop their money in the box and then they will give them promotional material about what we do here," Anderson said.
The Barrie Animal Centre is located at 91 Patterson Rd., near Tiffin Street and Highway 400.
"Because we're such a small centre and in an odd location, a lot of people don't understand that we are still here," she said. "We're under new management and we're under a new community development program, so we want to let people know that we are still here."
The Barrie Animal Centre handles transfers from other communities, performs adoptions and animal surrenders, as well as a myriad of educational visits to local schools, etc.
"We also hold the pound contract for the City of Barrie, so every animal within the city that is a stray or that needs a place to go can come here," Anderson said. "We also deal with all kinds of medical (situations), which is what this money is going toward.
"We deal with anything from Lyme disease to heart worms to hip dislocations to dental, you name it," she added.
Because the OSPCA no longer handles enforcement, they've changed the name to the Barrie Animal Centre, as it now handles adoption and educational services.
"We're trying to get away from the negative stigma of enforcement," Anderson said. "We want to promote the animal welfare part of it and helping more animals by doing that."
Anyone who's able to help out can email Anderson at email@example.com or call her at 705-828-5162. She said it would be helpful if people can let her know by either Tuesday or Wednesday next week at the latest.