Kelsey Griko

Kelsey Griko

Nelson goes to the dogs

Youngster raises thousands of dollars as part of the Paws for a Cause fundraiser.

Kelsey Griko has been fundraising since June, going from door to door soliciting donations for Paws for a Cause. The $4000 she accumulated will ultimately go towards feeding and caring for animals that may not otherwise receive support.

“It’s really important to me because I have a love for animals,” said the 14-year-old, who was at the Lakeside event with her 19-year-old Jack Russell terrier Mitch. “It was a lot of door knocking and work. It’s really challenging because a lot of the times you get turned down.”

Griko was undeterred.

“You get two dollars here or five dollars there, but in the end it all adds up,” she said.

Nelson SPCA branch manager Rob Andrew said he was thrilled at the success of the fundraiser, as a number of dogs had been adopted already and he expected more to find homes in the next few days.

“I put together all these great prizes, but now I’m feeling so overwhelmed. It seems like the prizes are insufficient,” he said.

Andrew said he was blown away by the community support this year.

“There’s a family from New Denver who must’ve cleaned out half of New Denver. They ended up being the top team,” he said, noting that the mother-daughter team outmatched the City of Nelson and the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

Brothers Blake and Carter Flexhaug, aged 8 and 11, came to Lakeside to find a dog to join their family. They spent some time cuddling Brutus, a Staffordshire terrier.

“I just like dogs and I like petting them and hanging out with them,” said Blake.

The event involved a fundraising walk, plus a number of animal-friendly games.

For more information, visit the Nelson SPCA on Facebook.