The doggy doors at Labrador’s SPCA will stay open thanks to $45K donation

Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA vice-president Bonnie Learning says she was stunned by a $45,000 donation that will keep the shelter doors open. (Sakib Ibn Rashid Rhivu/CBC)

An urgent appeal from Labrador’s only SPCA has been answered by a Happy Valley-Goose Bay business that has donated enough money to allow the animal shelter to stay open.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA vice-president Bonnie Learning pleaded for funding last week on the shelter’s Facebook page, saying the shelter was on the brink of closure without consistent financial support.

When Shawn Hagerty and John Paul Penashue of Nitassinan/Nunatsuak Supplies heard the plea, they sprang into action.

“It would have been a tragedy if it closed,” Hagerty said Tuesday. “It’s a fantastic organization, what they provide for the community. And they’re outstanding, so we had to help. It was the easiest decision we ever made.”

Learning said she was shocked when the business, which supplies equipment to mining and oil companies operating in Newfoundland and Labrador, donated $45,000 — $30,000 for the shelter, and $15,000 to pay off the shelter’s veterinary bill.

“What can you say? I was so stunned,” Learning said.

“That was a huge help, and a huge weight off our shoulder to get the bill taken care of, I tell you. That frees up more money to take in more animals.”

The donation wasn’t the only large chunk of money to come in since last week, Learning said. The shelter has received over $84,000 in the last week, much of which came from community donations.

“We can’t thank everybody enough for their support,” she said. “Because we were really, really close to shutting our doors.”

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