Join the virtual initiative and show your support for animals in need across the province
Sweat for Pets is a virtual platform where participants can engage in various physical activities while raising funds for animals in need across the province, said Erin Belsher, community development coordinator for Ontario SPCA, Barrie Animal Centre.
“We used to host our friends for life walk every year, raising significant funds for animal centers across Ontario, particularly in Barrie. However, due to the pandemic, we had to adapt like many others and rebranded it as sweat for pets.” Belsher said.
“Participants can create their own challenges and sign up online to raise funds for animals in their community. While we initially planned to reintroduce an in-person walk this year, we have decided to continue with the virtual format to ensure the fundraiser spans the entire summer, hoping to bring back the in-person event next year.”
The virtual nature of Sweat for Pets allows participants to choose activities that suit their mobility and lifestyle.
Whether it’s taking their pets for regular walks, engaging in gardening, or setting personal fitness goals, the focus is on staying active and enjoying the outdoors.
This year, the event introduces the Good Move app, which enables participants to track their progress by connecting to fitness devices such as Garmin, Apple Health, or Fitbit. Sharing their achievements and results online helps promote their personal fundraising pages and encourages friends and family to pledge support.
Throughout the years, sweat for pets has seen participants come up with unique and inspiring activities. Previous events have witnessed bike rides, paddleboarding with pooches, and other creative challenges to raise funds for animal welfare.
To make participation and fundraising easier, the Ontario SPCA’s website, provides comprehensive information and resources. Participants can register, create their personal fundraising pages, and access helpful tools such as a participation guide, sample social media posts, fundraising tips and a pledge form.
Additionally, the organization encourages individuals to reach out to their local centers for support and share their events and initiatives for wider promotion through social media and email.
The Ontario SPCA aims to raise a total of $40,000 province-wide through sweat for pets, with a specific goal of $5,000 for the Barrie Center. Beyond the financial aspect, the event aims to raise awareness about vulnerable animals in local communities and emphasize the vital role of community support.
“We want people to know that when they fundraise for their local center, the money stays in their own community to help the animals directly,” Belsher said.
“We want to emphasize that the Ontario SPCA relies solely on the generosity of donors and is not government funded. Therefore, when you participate in fundraisers like sweat for pets, you can be assured that your support stays right here, helping the animals in need. We are grateful for every contribution, big or small, as it supports the well-being of animals in need right here in our community.”
Register for Sweat for Pets Barrie online today or reach out with questions by phone at 1-888-668-7722 or email at [email protected].