Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

Animal lovers are urged to unite in solidarity on March 23 to show a little “Puppy Love” in Invermere.

The annual fundraiser for GALS (Global Animal Lovers) is a nice way to show support for furry, scaled or feathered friends in the community. 

GALS is an organization that helps animals that can’t help themselves. With dedicated volunteers, spay/neuter clinics, and a network of foster and adoptive homes, GALs endeavours to help solve the stray and abandoned animal problem in the Columbia Valley. 

Puppy Love organizer Sarah Eastick said the cost of spaying, neutering, and vaccinating animals adds up quickly. But thanks to the generosity of local businesses, th24e burden isn’t as surmountable. 

She noted that last year’s event raised more than $16,000 for GALS in a single day, which helped tackle the mountain of veterinary bills and costs associated with helping often abused and neglected animals.

The family event on Saturday, March 23 at Columbia Valley Centre will feature a mini tattoo convention, bake sale, silent auction, live music and an adults-only party in the evening. 

Businesses are asked to donate items for the silent auction, with all proceeds going to GALS. 

Eastick, who has a soft spot for animals, started volunteering for GALS 13 years ago when she became friends with Cindy Hopper from Choppers Pet Supplies. 

“They (Choppers) do so much good work in the community, and Cindy has such a big heart (for animals).”

Eastick herself has fostered more than 40 dogs over the years, so she knows how expensive vet bills can be. She noted that some of the scenarios that animals find themselves in are heartbreaking and “pretty awful.” 

She will never forget one little dog that came in; its fur was so matted that it took her and Hopper hours to cut much of the coat off. 

The poor thing was in “so much pain,” but by the end of it the dog was so relieved and happy. And when a home is found for these furry friends, it makes everything worth it, Eastick told the Pioneer. 

For more information, contact Eastick at 250-342-8844 or email [email protected].

PHOTO RUTH CAVANAGH PHOTOGRAPHY