Cancer diagnosis doesn't deter Kamloops woman from raising funds for the SPCA

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 13, 2017 - 6:33pm Updated: December 14, 2017 - 9:09am

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops woman is asking for the public's support to help her complete a fundraising goal for the Kamloops SPCA.

A few months ago Shirley McCaffrey launched the 'Haircut for Harry Ha Ha' campaign in memory of her pet dog.

She agreed to donate her hair to the Canadian Cancer Society, with money raised helping fund the SPCA's new building.

Kamloops resident Shirley McCaffrey volunteered to walk evacuees dogs during the 2003 wildfires.

It was there she met the canine that changed her life.

"Harry was part of a 29 dog rescue from 109 Mile," said McCaffrey. "All other dogs were euthanized except for Harry."

McCaffrey and the then one year old bonded instantly, Central Animal Hospital workers naming the Cardigan Welsh Corige 'Harry Ha Ha'

"They named him Harry Ha Ha as a joke because he was completely bald when they got him, he had that awful mange but they nursed him back to health."

A few years ago McCaffrey volunteer to do the graphic designs for Pilots N Paws Canada, a service that transports animals across Canada that is now called Canadian Wing of Rescue, 

with Hairy Ha Ha quickly becoming the mascot.

"He was on their website, bumper stickers, and wind banners all across Canada. A good portion of the items were in french."

The pooch was also a regular around Kamloops, posing on magazines, with emergency officials and even former Premier Christy Clark.

Then, this past summer, the 15 year old passed away.

"It was devestating because I've had most of my family pass away from cancer and Harry was with me through all of it."

McCaffrey started the 'Haircut for Harry Ha Ha' campaign this fall where she agreed to donate her hair to the Canadian Cancer Society, with money raised going towards the new Kamloops SCPA shelter in memory of Harry.

However it came to a halt when McCaffrey was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in September.

"I really wasn't that surprised. My sister passed away at 59 of brain cancer and my brother passed away at 57 of lung cancer after working with asbestos so I really wasn't surprised."

McCaffrey has managed to raise close to $35-hundred for the SPCA.

The Kamloops woman is now turning to the public to reach her six-thousand dollar goal.

"Two different friends have stepped up and given $500, it's amazing."

Alyssa Kiloh with the Kamloops SPCA says McCaffrey has been an active volunteer for years.

"She's always been giving back, always tried to make it so Harry could give back and pay his thanks for being rescued."It's really amazing when you see people come forward who are passionate about the cause."

With no word on how long she has left, McCaffrey says reaching her fundraising goal is her final wish.

It's a way to say thank you to a friend.

"He's just the epitome of why rescuing a dog can change your life."

To donate to Shirley's campaign, click here. 

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