Youth Animal Ambassadors Set an Example

Spake Twins Mayfaire

Katie Skiles, the Spake twins Katie and Mary Clare along with Vivian Spake raised more than $100 during Mayfaire weekend 2015 for SPCA Florida. They were also fostering five kittens during this time.

To say twins Katie and Mary Clare Spake are animal lovers and SPCA Florida supporters is an understatement. These adorable pet enthusiasts have rescued animals, organized lemonade stands and a canine water booth at Mayfaire at the Lake to fund raise, attended SPCA Florida’s summer Critter Camp, and fostered puppies and kittens. The Spakes have two dogs, two cats, and birds of their own that the girls help care for too.

This year was the first year Katie and Mary Clare were old enough to attend Critter Camp–SPCA Florida’s week-long behind-the-scenes summer camp–and they were thrilled. The twins said what they loved most about Critter Camp was learning the importance of animal advocacy and spay/neuter surgery as well as exactly how much work pets really are. This was also a lesson mom, Mary Lucia, said resonated when she and the girls took on SPCA Florida foster kittens and puppies. “They realized, oh, this is a lot of work. I think everyone should foster first before adoption,” said Mary Lucia.

Spake Twins at Critter Camp

The girls, who “do not shy away from any animal,” got to experience reptiles at SPCA Florida’s Critter Camp thanks to a presentation by Gatorland.

Spake Twins Beach - Dophin Rescue

Even on vacation, the Spake girls are animal lovers first. Here they are “rescuing” a beached “dolphin.”

“They live it. There’s not a single animal they shy away from.” Since they were little their passion has shined. Mary Lucia recalls summer vacations at the beach when Katie and Mary Clare would simulate a rescue using a plastic dolphin. “They would get other kids at the beach involved and perform this huge rescue scene.”

It comes as no surprise both girls, who are currently in fourth grade, are interested in careers within the animal field. Though they haven’t decided whether that means becoming a veterinarian or working within animal welfare, one thing is certain: animals are the Spake twins’ passion, although they do differ in the cat versus dog debate. Katie prefers cats, but her sister Mary Clare favors dogs.

Photo Aug 13, 10 15 18 AM

Service to animals and SPCA Florida is a family affair for the Spakes. The girls raise money and attended Critter Camp for the first time, and the family fosters puppies and kittens.

They serve as an incredible example of how young people can get involved and improve the lives of animals by fundraising, fostering (with parents’ permission and help of course), and most importantly, educating themselves and their friends about pet safety and health. We applaud the Spakes for their extensive involvement and support of SPCA Florida.