Nigel the cat raises pet food donations for food bank

FERGUS – The Fergus Veterinary Hospital calendar featuring Nigel the office cat is back to raise donations of pet food for the Centre Wellington Food Bank.

After the success from the first 2017 edition, Nigel, a docile domestic shorthair dressed up again in various costumes and posed for the 2019 calendar.

The $15 or $20 proceeds from each calendar are used by the veterinary hospital to purchase pet food that staff then deliver to the food bank.

“We raise food for [the food bank] throughout the year but Christmas time seems to be the time when people will actually come out and give money,” said veterinary hospital receptionist Dianne Schwantz.

She stumbled upon the idea for the calendar while playing dress up with Nigel.

Back in 2016, the last time the calendar was sold, it raised 1,600 pounds of pet food. This year the veterinary hospital hopes to raise just as much, if not more.

“We know our town has been hit hard with the losing of GSW and a couple of other plants. We want to make sure that our community has food, not only for them but for the pets as well. People don’t seem to think about the pets quite as much,” said Schwantz.

According to Centre Wellington Food Bank manager Fred Aleksandrowicz, 35 per cent of the individuals and families that use the food bank have a pet and of that, 65% have a cat.

“Having a pet is a family member, it helps to get you through those tough times…” he said.

“Now pet food is very expensive, and to be able to have pet food donations to the food bank is just a wonderful extra option for people,” Aleksandrowicz added.

Schwantz said she plans to keep selling the calendars at the veterinary hospital until mid-January.