SALMON COVE, N.L.
When Ally Butt’s float makes its way along the Santa Claus parade route in Salmon Cove later this weekend, it won’t be just to simply bring some seasonal merriment.
Ally, with help from her family, wanted to find a way to help the animals she cares so deeply about. In her spare time, the 12-year-old girl is a junior dog handler with the Canadian Kennel Club. Ally’s family has a pair of wiener dogs, Tessie and Petey.
“I’ve always had a love for animals, and my mom is always looking for something for me to do involving dogs, and she wandered upon (the club),” said Ally, a Grade 7 student at Persalvic Elementary in Victoria. “I tried it and I really like it.”
The idea for entering a float in the parade to support and raise awareness about the Baccalieu Trail SPCA came together pretty naturally, and the outcome ultimately exceeded her expectations. The 2017 parade in Salmon Cove was the first time Ally entered a float to attract attention to her beloved cause. Her efforts were rewarded. They collected over $200 and filled a few bags with donated food items.
“It made me feel really good, because I know the SPCA is always needing help and they don’t get a lot,” Ally said.
The Baccalieu Trail SPCA has been active for several years and operates a thrift store in Bay Roberts to support operations. The group recently broke ground on what will be the eventual location of its first animal shelter in Tilton.
Creating the float has been a group effort. Her mom and dad, Crystal and Devin Butt, help out, as does her brother Hunter and Will. Cousin Taylor Slade has also pitched in with some painting to give the float some colour.
To help get the word out about her float, Ally has used social media and distributed posters for exposure. On the day of the parade, people will walk their dogs alongside the float and collect money along the parade route. They also have an SPCA banner to display.
Her mom is very proud of Ally’s dedication to helping animals.
“Ally is a one-of-a-kind,” Crystal Butt told The Compass, noting her daughter is interested in one day becoming a veterinarian. “She’s kind of a little old mother hen. She loves animals and is very committed to helping animals.”
The Salmon Cove Santa Claus parade takes place Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.