Rufus, 11-year-old terrier American Staffordshire and Australian cattle dog mix, waits in his kennel on Friday afternoon at the Whitman County Humane Society. (OLIVIA WOLF)
Rufus, 11-year-old terrier American Staffordshire and Australian cattle dog mix, waits in his kennel on Friday afternoon at the Whitman County Humane Society.

OLIVIA WOLF

Humane society hosts fundraiser for shelter pets

Celebrity servers to parade adoptable pets for guests; money raised accounts for 25 percent of operating budget

February 20, 2020

Whitman County Humane Society is hosting the 13th annual Fur Ball and Yappy Hour starting at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Event Center.

“This is the biggest fundraiser we do of the year,” said Ashley Phelps, director of shelter operations at WCHS. “Our success as an organization relies pretty heavily on this event and how well it does.”

Wendy Ortman, vice president of the board of directors for WCHS, said the goal of Fur Ball is to raise a quarter of the shelter’s annual operating budget.

The event will have both live and silent auctions to fundraise for the shelter. Ortman said some of the auction items include a guided canoe trip, Cougar gear and labor provided by Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

Phelps said the event starts with a “Yappy Hour” for attendees to eat hors d’oeuvres and look at the silent auction items.

Ortman said her favorite part of the event is the paddle raise, which occurs halfway through the live auction and is a chance for attendees to donate without getting any auction items.

“It’s really where you see how much support we have in our little community,” Ortman said.

The theme of this year’s event is “The Good, The Bad, and The Snuggly,” which is a “Wild West and Clint Eastwood” type theme, Ortman said.

Renee Piper, co-owner and head trainer at Tail Waggin’ Adventures in Pullman, will be the keynote speaker at the event, Phelps said.

The “bad,” Ortman said, isn’t the dogs but the challenges they face as shelter pets.

“[Piper] has had a whole career out of working with animals, with their behavior, with how to re-adjust shelter pets into home situations and correct those behaviors,” Ortman said. “It’s a good tie-in to the overall theme.”

Kym Darling, president of the board of directors for WCHS, said celebrity servers at the event will include Chief of Police Gary Jenkins, Sheriff Brett Myers, Fire Chief Mike Heston, Police Sergeant Greg Umbright and Bryan and Kathy Slinker.

During the event, there will be a parade of pets, where many of the adoptable animals at the shelter will walk around, including brand-new pit bull-mix puppies Luna and Stella.

Fur Ball is currently sold out, but people can still donate on the WCHS website.

Phelps said there is an adoption marathon Feb. 15-29. My Rental Company in Pullman will be covering the adoption fees Feb. 23-29.

“We’re hoping that a lot of animals go home and that our shelter is empty by the time the 29th comes around,” Phelps said.

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