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Fare for felines and canines

Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Affectionately referred to as Santa Claus by his co-workers, cab driver Bob Dunsmore will be giving the NWT SPCA a very generous present this Christmas season - a whole day's earnings.

NNSL photo/graphic

Pictured here on Monday, Bob Dunsmore affectionately called Santa Claus by his co-workers is certainly giving clout to his nickname this year. He'll be donating everything he earns tomorrow to the NWT SPCA to help with their efforts to build an animal shelter. - Tim Edwards/NNSL photo

Dunsmore operates Cab 9 for Diamond Cabs, and tomorrow his "whole day's take" will go to the NWT SPCA to help with their efforts to build an animal shelter.

"He's got a big heart," said Ted Yaceyko, owner of Diamond Cabs. "My hat goes off to Bob."

Dunsmore said the idea came to him when his wife was updating him on the successes of the NWT SPCA's entry in the online Aviva Community Fund contest. The organization is asking for $100,000 to $500,000 to build an animal shelter in Yellowknife for the territory's homeless and/or abused dogs and cats. The idea entered the finals with 43,021 votes and its fate now lays with a panel of judges.

"I just got thinking about it," said Dunsmore. "We've got three - two still alive - beautiful animals from the SPCA, and my first dog that I got from there was just the most wonderful dog ever."

Dunsmore, who has 25 years of experience as a cab driver in Yellowknife, used to work as a guide for Japanese tourists. He said "the old dog that I used to have was probably the most photographed dog in the territories," but "most of the photos have gone back to Japan."

"I'm just kind of glad to help out, to pay back a bit," said Dunsmore.

Yaceyko said he hasn't seen a cab driver do something like this before. "This is a first," he said.

"We'll see if somebody else can come up with something as well. We're not going to steal his idea, because I think it's a marvellous idea, but maybe we could do something else at Christmas."

Yaceyko said he's been following the NWT SPCA's progress in the contest and has been impressed every step of the way.

"I think as a community we've done very, very well."

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