Loving Animals is ALWAYS a Win-Win

By Judy Layne

I’m sure that you know about the SPCA’s fabulous 50/50 weekly lottery draw. Many lucky animal lovers have won and have taken home thousands, all while supporting homeless pets.

I caught up with Kenda, who has been the lucky jackpot winner not once but twice! But what makes Kenda really special is that she made a $500 donation after each win to give back even more to the animals! Kenda shared “I’ve been incredibly lucky. It was great to win, a shock even, but the best part of buying those weekly 50/50 tickets is having the opportunity to give back.” She continued “The 50/50 draws are brilliant. Everyone is a winner! Even if your ticket isn’t drawn, you can still feel like a winner knowing that your ticket purchase means the SPCA can continue doing the wonderful work they do.”

Giving back is nothing new for Kenda when it comes to animals. Throughout her life, her love of animals has inspired her to look for every possible opportunity to give back and to provide help to animals whenever and wherever it’s needed.

Her first memory of volunteering with animals goes back to elementary school. She was one of two students who took care of their school’s rabbit. That experience taught them about the responsibilities involved in caring for an animal. They were also required to pass along the knowledge they gained to younger students, teaching them to be kind to animals.

Kenda began her volunteer journey with the Nova Scotia SPCA by serving in various roles at both the Pictou and Dartmouth Shelters over the years. She walked dogs, cuddled kitties, cleaned kennels, washed dishes, did laundry – wherever help was needed.

Kenda didn’t stop there. She has assisted with fundraising events and has been a loyal monthly SPCA donor since 2014. Kenda shared “I would never discourage anyone from making a one-time donation in honor of a loved one or for special needs, but there is a constant need for dollars too. I have no doubt that the SPCA is extremely grateful for people’s generosity when there is a crisis (for example – hoarding situations, the damage the Sydney Shelter suffered from Fiona), but contributing on a monthly basis will hopefully help to ensure that the SPCA has resources to act immediately when necessary.”

I asked Kenda what inspired her to be so giving. She explained “Thankfully, I’m in a position to give, but like many people, I wish I could do more. That hasn’t always been the case, so I understand we all have our challenges in life. I wish more people realized they don’t necessarily need to donate hundreds of dollars; imagine what the SPCA could accomplish if hundreds of people donated a dollar each or gave one hour of their time each week.”

Kenda is passionate about advocating for animals. She shared “There are so many animals that need care, love and attention, and there are so many ways people can support the Nova Scotia SPCA. As most people know, you can donate, volunteer, foster an animal, and of course, adopt.  But there are numerous other ways.”

So true!! Maybe someone wants to help but isn’t financially able to, or perhaps they can’t commit to a volunteer schedule.  There are countless other opportunities.  Here are some:

  • Donate items to an SPCA Thrift Store or your local SPCA shelter.
  • Grab a friend and see what bargains you can find at one of the SPCA Thrift Stores.
  • Be a mindful shopper and purchase things from one of the local businesses who support the SPCA. (for example, handmade bracelets from Links of Love; Bulwarks Cider [available at NSLC]; bandanas and dog collars from East Coast Lifestyle; and one I just discovered  – Rescue Coffee). All of these businesses give back to the community, specifically to the SPCA.
  • Organize a fundraiser or instead of having a traditional celebration and gifts for a birthday, anniversary or graduation, or ask friends and family to make a donation in your name to the SPCA instead.
  • Ask employers if a ‘Casual Friday’ can be implemented in the workplace and ask those who wish to participate to make a small donation to the SPCA.
  • Instead of receiving a thank you gift from a friend for dog sitting or watering their plants while on vacation, ask them to make a donation to the SPCA.

“Most importantly, and so easy to do – spread the word,” said Kenda. “Tell people about all the amazing things the SPCA does. Remind people of all the animals looking for a forever home and ask them to adopt, not shop – it will make their life so much richer. Don’t support ‘puppy mills’ or ‘backyard breeders’. Have your pets spayed or neutered. And PLEASE – if you see an animal being neglected, mistreated or abused in any way, REPORT IT!

And Kenda’s final thoughts? “Stories of happily-ever-after aren’t just for fairy tales. It’s an incredible feeling knowing you’ve helped the SPCA make those happily-ever-afters possible!”


With thousands of abused, neglected, injured, homeless animals to care for annually, please consider getting involved and making a difference in these animals’ lives. There’s a wide range of opportunities to engage and inspire you.  Click here to check them out.

Thank you to everyone who has plays and supports the SPCA Weekly 50/50. Animal lovers are winning thousands. Click here to check it out and get your paws on tickets.

We wanted to honour the memory of Shadow, Kenda’s and her partner Doug’s beautiful German Shepherd rescue who shared their life for 5 wonderful years. Shadow and Kenda had a special bond, a connection, that words can’t describe. Kenda still has a t-shirt that reads “Sorry, I can’t………..I have plans with my German Shepherd.” Shadow, we know with your big heart and kind soul that helping to spread awareness would make you happy. We know you’re smiling up there.

Judy Layne

Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.