by Lorraine Payette, written September 4, 2013
“Fox-es! … We are… wild and crazy guys!”
– Steve Martin as Georg Festrunk, SNL
(ROCKPORT, ONTARIO) The outrageous downpour that slowed the Gananoque and District Humane Society’s (GDHS) party animals down for the second annual Fur Ball didn’t dare show its cantankerous head on August 30 when they got together again to take off for Fur Ball 2.5. These were some serious cats and kittens, and they were out to have a good time rocking on the river to the joyous strains of R Banned, all for the benefit of the animals.
Fur Ball 2.5?
“The first cruise had to be grounded because of the huge storm that day,” said Arlene Massey, Humane Society volunteer. “So we saw that as only half a Fur Ball. This time, it’s the whole deal.”
“From the first cruise attempt in July, we netted about $2,139,” said Heather Caird, vice president of GDHS.
But that was only a beginning. Given a chance, people couldn’t help giving to the cruise and the Shelter. It came in by dribs and drabs, sometimes from the most unexpected places.
“Throughout the weeks leading up to the 30th we deposited another $550,” said Caird. “Then I collected a total of $2,134 the day of the cruise, which includes a generous donation of $1,100 from the Boat Line, as well as money from the 50/50 draw, beer bottle donations and more ticket sales. Arlene Massey collected another $100 in donations, and John White (real estate agent and owner of Storage Wars Store in Lansdowne) generously matched the 50/50 winnings with a $173.50 donation.”
All in all, the combined events raised about $5,000 after costs for the animals at GDHS.
Donations came in all shapes and sizes. The biggest donor by far was the Rockport Boatline, who not only sponsored the boat itself, but made a surprise gift to the Shelter.
“At the beginning of our season, we had an envelope handed in to us with $1,100 in it,” said Carol Sudds of the Rockport Boatline. “We’ve held it all season, and no one has claimed the money, so we felt that we would like to donate it to a charity and we couldn’t think of one better than the Gananoque Humane Society.”
“We had about 147 people on the boat, including the band, volunteers and paid guests,” said Caird. “Of these, 52 were new tickets purchased since our original attempt in July. Many of the folks who came in July couldn’t make it this time, but chose to donate that money to us instead of asking for a refund, for which we are very grateful.”
While only cats are in residence at the shelter due to space limitations, dog rescue and rehabilitation is provided throughout TLTI and Gananoque, as well as rescue, rehabilitation and adoption services for all small domestic animals.
“Housing for homeless dogs provided through a network of foster homes, commercial kennels and the resources of adjacent Humane Societies,” said Dianne Seymour.
Animal Shelters are a sad necessity in modern society. Without them, the problem of stray and unwanted dogs and cats would be much larger than it is now.
But sometimes, what starts out looking like a tragedy turns into a triumph.
“There was a 17-year-old Siamese brought in,” said Anne Cummings of GDHS. “It was totally dehydrated, in very bad health, picked up near Rockport. We were in the Panaché bakery for lunch after a volunteer shift, and the owner’s wife told us about this woman at the flower shop up the street who had lost her 17-year-old Siamese.
“Immediately, we wondered if it might be the same cat, so we trudged up there and talked to the person’s assistant. She texted the owner, and it turned out that it was the cat that had been found near Rockport. It had slipped out the door, and just wandered.
“Happily, we were able to reunite the cat with the owner and she’s now also taking another Siamese who has ended up in our Shelter. It’s a good example of how a caring community works together to keep the Shelter going, and it’s a very happy ending for everyone.”
Volunteers and donations, as well as adoptions, help to keep the happy endings coming. For more information about the Gananoque District Humane Society, please go to http://www.ganhumanesociety.ca/ .