Dogs gather in Bedford to help Shelter Nova Scotia – The Signal

Dog Days fundraiser part of ongoing efforts to help the non-profit raise $160,000 by March to keep programs running

Dogs came to lend a paw for Shelter Nova Scotia at the "Dog Days" fundraiser, which was organized by Bed Bug Detectives.Andrea McGuire

ByAndrea McGuire

January 27, 2020, 5:28 pm ASTLast Updated: January 27, 2020, 5:28 pm

Shelter Nova Scotia needs to raise almost $140,000 by the end of March to keep all their programs and services running and theyre getting closer with a little help from some furry friends.

Linda Wilson, executive director of Shelter Nova Scotia, said the non-profit needs to fundraise $300,000 throughout their 2019/2020 calendar year, which ends March 31.

She said their organization typically receives at least 40 per cent of its fundraising goal over the holiday season. But this year, they came up short.

Its competitive, sadly, Wilson said. And people were extremely generous with us this year, but we didnt get as much as we had hoped.

Shelter Nova Scotia serves about 1,300 people a year who experience homelessness or other kinds of housing instability in HRM. It operates six facilities, including two emergency shelters.

Although Shelter Nova Scotia receives some government funding, it also relies on donations. All funds are used for the non-profits daily operations.

So that means to pay the light bill, to pay the phone bill, to buy supplies and things like that, explains Wilson.

Wilson said no facilities will close if they dont reach their fundraising goal, but they might have to pull back some services.

Dozens of dogs and their humans attended a fundraiser in Bedfords DeWolf Park on Saturday to grab some treats, get some pictures taken, and share a sloppy greeting at a canine kissing booth.

A company called Bed Bug Detectives held the Dog Days fundraiser over the weekend. Why dogs? The pest control business is full of animal lovers, explained managing director Brett Newcombe. Plus, a team of six trained dogs are their primary investigators when it comes to pinpointing bedbugs.

Newcombe said Bed Bug Detectives is celebrating 10 years in business, and they tossed around a few ideas for marking their anniversary. But this one came top of our mind, he said.

We do work with Shelter Nova Scotia, and we take pride in helping our community, Newcombe said. So we thought its for someone thats in need, and someone that could benefit from some extra donations.

Shelter Nova Scotia has had major problems with bed bugs in the past. Wilson said this was partly because people kept donating bedbug-infested items to their organization. In fact, Shelter Nova Scotia was Bed Bug Detectives very first customer 10 years ago.

In the beginning we were probably their biggest customer because were such a big organization, and people were dumping their dirty donations on us, said Wilson.

In 2017, Shelter Nova Scotia stopped accepting donations of used clothing and furniture. Theyve also begun monthly checks with the dogs from Bed Bug Detectives.

We now rarely have a bedbug, Wilson said.

She added that third-party, independent fundraisers like Dog Days are a big help for Shelter Nova Scotia.

Along with monetary donations, the non-profit is also looking for household items like toothpaste, shampoo, and reusable water bottles. A detailed list can be found here.

While Wilson certainly stresses the financial needs of Shelter Nova Scotia, she said she equally wishes for people to be kind, thoughtful, and avoid blaming anyone experiencing homelessness.

Im often amazed by assumptions that are made about people who are experiencing homelessness, she said.

Sometimes I think people think they just fell out of the sky. And you know, they are somebodys son, daughter, father, uncle, cousin. Friend. And for the most part, theyve just fallen on tough times.

Andrea McGuire

Andrea McGuire is a journalism student from Newfoundland. Before coming to King's College, she completed a master's degree in folklore at Memorial University. She likes cats, plants, and playing accordion.

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Dogs gather in Bedford to help Shelter Nova Scotia - The Signal

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