Raising a New Roof: Helping Build the Gift of a Lifetime

By Paula Nalbaru

The laptop. The cellphone. The DVD. The World Wide Web. Google.

What do they have in common?

They are all younger than the Pictou SPCA Animal Shelter.

First opened in 1979, the Pictou Shelter celebrates 45 years in the community. It has served thousands of furry friends and their families for over four decades. It has seen hundreds of laughs and tears, heard many stories, and held its promise to save lives and create families.

It has been through so much, including a hurricane or two and many snowstorms. The wear and tear are visible. We knew it was time for our beloved Pictou Shelter to pass the baton.

And in the year it celebrates its Sapphire anniversary, we give the shelter a gift. North Nova.

As we put the walls up, each piece of the roof, and give a colourful life to the building, we know it wouldn’t be possible without our community. The same community that has loved the Pictou Shelter for so long.

Our neighbours rose to the occasion when we put out the bat signal about the need for a new building to serve our furry friends. One of those neighbours being East Coast Credit Union.

If you visited their New Glasgow, Antigonish and St. Andrew’s branches in June 2022, you might have seen the little light blue paper hearts. When people would donate, they would receive one of those paper hearts to write their name on. The hearts would then be plastered all over the branch showcasing the support of the new building, making each name a part of the legacy of North Nova.

East Coast Credit Union matched all donations during the campaign, raising a total of $2,000. We weren’t surprised when they said yes to this new campaign as they have been friends of the Pictou SPCA for years through the sponsorship of the annual Kathy Skoke-Fortin memorial golf tournament, helping raise thousands for our beloved shelter.

When we asked the New Glasgow Branch Manager Tara Proudfoot what the new building they are helping with means for the community, she explained, “I feel the majority of our county are huge animal lovers. This facility hits home for many of us since we love to rescue those sweet fur babies and give them a life they wouldn’t have otherwise. Having a new facility with more room to accommodate animals in need as well as a veterinary hospital will have the unwavering support of the community without a doubt. Animals become family, so this was very much needed, and it feels good knowing as a local Credit Union we’ve been able to help support this beautiful, new facility.”

If you have visited the Pictou SPCA Animal Shelter, you know we aren’t surrounded by neighbours. When we started building North Nova, we understood the need for a more central location, accessible to more people.

Now that we will be in Stellarton’s Albion Business Park, not only will you be able to see us from the highway, but we will also have actual neighbours. One of them is Global Pet Foods Pictou County- Stellarton.

Franchisees Corinne Brazeau and Mark Turner have long been supporters of the Pictou and Colchester SPCA Animal Shelters. When they learned about the new facility, they were more than happy to help.

Corinne told us, “My husband (Mark) and I attended the ground-breaking ceremony, and it was incredible to learn about the size and scale of this project. We knew how important a facility like this would be to our community, so we wanted to do our part to help. The workers and volunteers at the SPCA have always been incredible, and a new, modern facility is going to provide them with added tools, space, and support (i.e., with the veterinary hospital) to be able to help animals and pet parents here at home. It will also alleviate pressure from other SPCA hospitals in the province, so it’s a win for everyone.”

That is how the Global Pet Foods’ largest annual fundraiser, “Show Us Your Heart,” contributed to the new North Nova facility. They and Global Pet Foods Truro raised over $7,000 combined in February 2023 alone. Adding numerous other fundraisers in-store and around the community, they raised over $12,500 for North Nova. “We really appreciate everyone who has supported our fundraising efforts, no matter how big or small. We also want to thank our amazing team members who make our fundraisers fun and successful!” Corinne said when she talked about all the hard work and dedication that goes into these fundraisers.

Creston Rudolph, our Development Officer, who worked closely with Tara and Corinne, mentioned, “When I told East Coast Credit Union and Global Pet Foods about our plans to build the North Nova SPCA, they got excited and asked how they could help.  The Nova Scotia SPCA is so lucky to have them as partners.”

And lucky we are. It takes a village to bring big dreams to life. And it makes it easier to have great people in our corner.

Just like the Pictou Shelter, the North Nova facility will be in the business of saving lives, creating families for generations to come. Because at the end of the day, we are here for good.

And Creston encourages you to be a part of that village and legacy. “If you own a business and are looking to help raise funds for the new facility, please reach out to us. We’d love to chat with you! Give me a call at 902-209-4003.”

Together we can raise the woof!

Paula Nalbaru

Paula Nalbaru is the Philanthropy Communications Coordinator with the Nova Scotia SPCA in Dartmouth. She’s a proud fur-parent and referee between her dog, Summer, and cat, Marshmallow.