You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your neighbours. If you’re lucky and have good ones, consider yourself blessed.
The Nova Scotia SPCA was blessed when Don MacKenzie and his wife Angela moved their business headquarters next door to its Dartmouth Shelter. Don and Angela are big animal lovers and have two beautiful dogs named Archie (one and a half years old) and Edie (one year old). Archie and Edie are popular fixtures in their office and are often referred to as their business mascots.
“Angela talked me into getting a dog,” Don recalls with a smile.
He now looks back on it as one of the best decisions he’s ever made and is glad that she was so persuasive.
“We bring Archie and Edie into work every day. It changes the mood of everyone in our office and makes us feel good. I look forward to seeing them every day when I come in and out of the office,” said Don.
“They’re great company for each other and for us,” Angela added.
Don and Angela relocated their businesses to Scarfe Court during the Spring of 2022 after operating out of an office building on Waverley Rd for many years. Their first business, Eastwing Products Ltd., opened in 2001 and specializes in HVAC systems including heat pumps. It was established by Don’s former business partner Don MacLeod who has since retired.
Over the years, Don and Angela have added to their business ventures. They opened a new company that provides electrical services called Eastwing Electrical and acquired Eastern Plumbing and Heating and Mister Hot Water Heater which provides emergency plumbing services. All four companies now operate out of their office on Scarfe Court. They have approximately 70 employees.
Before moving into their new digs, Angela reached out to the SPCA to introduce herself and offer their support. To celebrate their move to Scarfe Court, they wanted to do something significant for their new neighbours. They decided to donate a portion of sales from each heat pump installation in May to the SPCA.
“We wanted to do something special because we love animals and we had heard so many great things about the work the SPCA does,” Don said.
Don and Angela have continued to be tremendous financial supporters of the SPCA through their businesses. They’ve also become trusted neighbours that the SPCA can count on when help is needed. During the recent Nova Scotia wildfires, the SPCA received an influx of pet food donations and ran out of storage space. The SPCA contacted Angela to see if they had any space they could use. Without hesitation, Angela offered the usage of its building.
Some of Don and Angela’s employees are also active SPCA volunteers. Several years ago, Mark Alberts and his wife Tara joined the SPCA’s foster program. They regularly provide temporary care to shelter cats who need to live in a home environment prior to adoption.
In addition, last December, Cindy Adams and her 12-year-old daughter Sonny began volunteering at the shelter on a weekly basis – walking dogs and cuddling cats and bunnies.
“We started volunteering because we love animals and helping our community. It’s a good feeling when a community comes together to make things better. It’s also a wonderful way for a child to learn the importance of caring for an animal and giving back to their community.
To anyone considering volunteering, I strongly recommend it. Our experience has been great from our first visit. It’s very apparent that the staff really care for the animals,” Cindy said.
The incredibly high standard of care that the SPCA provides to hurt or homeless animals is something that has impressed Don and Angela the most since moving in next door. They’ve gained a strong appreciation and respect for the SPCA’s staff and the tough job they’re faced with every day.
“It’s amazing how many cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals the SPCA provides care for,” said Angela.
“The SPCA’s staff are very committed to what they’re doing. We see so many people coming and going during the run of a day. They carry a big load and do a lot of good work for the community,” Don added.
The SPCA shares a similar appreciation and respect for its “newish” but no longer new neighbours. The iconic Fred Rogers aka Mr. Rogers might have summed it up best in his famous “Won’t You Be My Neighbour” song lyrics…
“Neighbours are people who are close to us
And friends are people who are close to our hearts
I like to think of you as my neighbor and my friend.”
To Don, Angela, Archie, Edie, and staff – Thanks for your incredible support. We look forward to being neighbours and friends for many years to come!
Attention all Heat Pump Owners
With temperatures hitting record highs this summer, Don and Angela would like to remind all heat pump owners with or without pets to check their filters regularly. Their business Eastwing Products Ltd. specializes in heat pump installation and repairs in residential and commercial buildings.
Their customers have installed heat pumps not only to save money but to ensure a comfortable home temperature during the cold winter months and hot summer months for themselves and their pets.
“If you have animals that shed, you should clean or replace your filters monthly. Some are washable and some must be replaced. If they don’t shed, you can usually get two to three months out of a filter before it needs to be cleaned or replaced,” Angela said.
Your heat pump runs best when it is free of dirt and debris. Pet hair not only reduces efficiency, it can also harm the air quality inside your home for you and your pets and reduce the lifespan of your system.