AKRON, Ohio - Paws & Prayers Animal Rescue in Akron is having its very first fundraiser this weekend, to help the organization balance its medical costs as a record number of dogs and cats are being abandoned.
This year alone, Paws & Prayers Animal Rescue found a loving home for nearly 1,300 furry, four-legged friends. The rescue, which is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, relies solely on donations, but has seen a steady increase in medical costs for the animals' care. That's one of the reasons the organization decided on a Barks & Blues event Saturday to help bring in extra funds.
"One of our main goals is to minimize and alleviate euthanasia in local shelters," explained Deb Slaby with the rescue organization. "We take in dogs no one usually wants. So many times, black dogs and dark brown dogs get overlooked. It could be because the animal is shy and doesn't come right up to a person, but those are the animals that need homes most."
Support for the Barks & Blues fundraising event saw such a huge response, Paws & Prayers had to add tables. Instead of selling 200 tickets, they sold 220 for the gathering at Todaro's Party Center. The evening includes dinner, dancing, raffles, a silent auction and entertainment by "The Soul Men," a Blues Brothers tribute band.
"I'm amazed, overwhelmed and humbled by the kind of support we've seen. This allows us to save a lot more animals and increase awareness about what we do," said Slaby. "Our goal is to raise money by this event, but it's also to raise awareness more than anything else."
Paws & Prayers is northeast Ohio's largest foster-raised rescue. Animals find a temporary home with a foster family until the right family comes along to permanently adopt the pet. Foster families are allowed, and encouraged, to choose their own home for their four-legged foster friend.
"Fostering a dog lets you get to know the animal's personality. We get to know how the dog gets along with other dogs or people. This way, we can let the adopter know traits we've seen, like if the dog is good with children or if the dog would do better alone," explained Slaby.
The need for animals to find a loving home is more crucial now than ever. "A record number of cats and dogs are just being dumped lately," said Slaby.
Paws & Prayers Animal Rescue has been making the lives of animals better for 10 years.
Newsnet5.com will follow-up with the rescue organization on Monday to see how much they raised for animal care through the event.