Paws and Claws mitigates funding concerns

Pam Price shows the two $500 Bomgaars gift certificates she won in this year’s Paws and Claws raffle. (GAZETTE PHOTO/Karla Toomer)

The annual fundraising Furball Gala event was canceled this year, but the $1,000 Bomgaars shopping spree raffle was still held. The winner, Pam Price, was announced on May 9.

Paws and Claws Animal Adoption and Care Center Inc. holds the annual Furball Gala  as the yearly fundraiser for the animal shelter. They normally have a limit of 100 tickets to the actual event and they sell out every year.

Although the raffle did not bring in the amount of funding normally earned, the purchases will help make the year less challenging for Paws and Claws. In April, animal shelter officials made the announcement that they would, with heavy hearts, have to cancel the Furball Gala due to COVID-19. The fundraiser normally helps meet operating expenses, emergency veterinary care, and necessary services, with $9,000 in vet bills spent in 2019. According to founder and president Robbie Ray, 70% of total annual operating budget comes from the fundraiser.

“That’s (donations) all we operate on, up to $25,000 on one of our better years,” Ray said. “I would like everybody to know we are thankful for helping us out. Even though we weren’t able to have the whole Furball, people stepped up and they bought tickets and through the community’s efforts we raised a little over $10,000. We have been running off people’s generosity since we’ve opened. We opened in 2012; in November it will be eight years. Everyone here is total volunteer. Every penny raised goes right to take care of the animals.”

Paws and Claws is not publicly funded in any way; not by the Town of Kemmerer or Town of Diamondville. During this time when everyone is going through a difficult time, it means a great deal for people to open up their pocketbooks and their hearts.

“We want to thank people. We are very frugal with our money. While it’s less than what we will do for an annual Furball some people donate on a monthly basis,” said Raye. There are eight members, all volunteers on the board. “They are the heroes in all of this, we have not closed during any of this COVID stuff,” said Ray.

Paws and Claws expresses thanks to the many people and businesses who support them. Bomgaars gets a big cat’s meow for helping to sponsor the raffle.

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