The Kitsap Humane Society sure has something to bark about.
This year’s Animal Krackers dinner and auction event to benefit Kitsap Humane Society raised more than $220,000 — a 10-percent increase over last year’s event.
The benefit was held at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton on Saturday, Sept. 28 and drew a crowd of 340 people.
During the benefit, officials from the Kitsap Humane Society’s shared details of the nonprofit’s recent accomplishments.
The results were impressive:
• Kitsap Humane Society saves and finds homes for 94 percent of the animals that it rescues in contrast to just 10 years ago, when KHS euthanized 40 percent of the animals in its care due to a lack of resources and rehabilitation programs.
• Over the past year, the nonprofit rescued 4,500 animals, rehabilitated many animals with treatable medical or behavioral issues and re-homed (adopted out) 94 percent of those 4,500 pets;
• Over the past 10 years, the organization has performed more than 30,000 spay/neuter surgeries and will do another 4,000 surgeries this year alone. Officials said the spay/neuter program is directly helping to reduce the homeless pet population in the community and save lives.
• Hundreds of volunteers donated more than 36,000 hours to perform such critical tasks as walking dogs, cuddling cats, counseling adopters, doing laundry and providing foster care for almost 700 pets in foster homes.
A highlight of the evening was the Fund-a-Need portion of the live auction that educated the crowd on how Kitsap Humane Society saves thousands of animals through its behavioral and medical rehabilitation programs.
Dr. Jennifer Stonequist, director of shelter medicine for the Kitsap Humane Society, shared the poignant story of Fozzie, a 12-week-old golden retriever-mix puppy, who was brought in to the humane society a few months ago covered in blood. He had been hit by a car and dragged a good distance, sustaining severe injuries to both hind limbs. A father and son had found the puppy in a ditch, thinking it was dead, and brought it to the shelter in tears.
“We rushed the puppy to treatment where his hind limbs, a dislocated ankle and tendons were surgically repaired,” Stonequist recalled. “Infection and daily bandage changes for wound management were a constant reminder of the severity of his injuries.”
“While I thought he might lose one, if not both, limbs, Fozzie miraculously pulled through,” she said. “Three weeks later, he was using both injured legs and was in KHS foster care.”
At the Animal Krackers fundraiser, Fozzie, now 5 months old, was waiting in a corner of the room to surprise the audience, but before Stonequist could finish her story, he barked joyously in anticipation of getting into the room.
With his foster care provider in tow, Fozzie bounded to the stage and was greeted by thunderous applause and tears from the audience.
Still in treatment, Fozzie’s prognosis is that he will make a full recovery.
“On average, a procedure like the one that saved Fozzie’s life costs Kitsap Humane Society about $3,000 in staff time and medical supplies,” Stonequist said. “Animal Krackers helps provide critically needed funding for life-saving emergency procedures that enable injured or seriously ill animals like Fozzie to make full recoveries and be adopted into loving homes.”
Officials with the Kitsap Humane Society said the benefit will provide crucial funding to help rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals.
Even so, more assistance is needed.
“The success of this year’s Animal Krackers event will help KHS stay on track to meet our $800,000 fundraising goal for 2013, about 40 percent of KHS’ $2.1 million operating budget. But we still have $200,000 to raise by the end of this year,” said Eric Stevens, executive director of the humane society.
“The continuing operations of Kitsap Humane Society depend upon private donations from our community,” he said.
To contribute to Kitsap Humane Society’s year-end fundraising goal, visit kitsap-humane.org/donate-now.