The bond between a boy and his dog is unbreakable and apparently everlasting, after one man’s love for his canine transferred into a large donation to the Kelowna BC SPCA.
After Paul Bilyk died in 2021, the BC SPCA was contacted by his estate, who explained there would be a substantial endowment coming to the Kelowna branch.
Bilyk chose to leave $910,764 to the non-profit because of his childhood pet, a dog, which he had adopted from the Kelowna BC SPCA many years ago.
Karin Massar, the senior officer of community giving, said Bilyk always remembered how much joy his dog brought him in his life and he wanted to give back.
“This was unexpected and it really speaks to the terms of how many animal lovers are in our community that we might not be aware of, and the impact these animals have had on them until we get this kind of estate with a donation like this,” she said.
Bilyk was previously unknown to the Kelowna BC SPCA and did not have a lot of family, however, the impression his best friend left on him was clearly carried throughout his life.
“His mother pre-deceased him about a year before he died and so part of this money is from her estate, so it did become a substantial amount that came to us,” she explained.
The almost $1 million donation is one of the largest estates the Kelowna branch has ever received. The money is specifically donated to the local branch to provide support for the animals cared for in Kelowna.
“The money will go towards some of our operational costs, looking after the animals from the care they need, to veterinarian costs, such as spaying and neutering, as well as microchipping,” said Massar.
The donation will also help with community programming, animal protection officers and humane education, which provides youth education including summer camps. Renovations and upgrades to the building are also on the agenda.
Massar said the non-profit is working with Bilyk’s estate to give recognition to the Kelowna man and his love of animals, with a particular something in the dog area.
“We would also like to do a little celebration as far as the estate of Paul Bilyk.”
The Kelowna branch budget is $1.5 million a year and this donation will be a big help to the local non-profit, however, Massar emphasized that donations are always needed and appreciated, to ensure the proper care for animals in the community.