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Humane Society, Pet Universe fund-raiser benefits local shelter; Free giveaways planned

By Staff | Sep 12, 2008

Pet Universe in Cape Coral is teaming up with the Gulf Coast Humane Society today to raise money to support local pets.

“We got together to collect funds for the Gulf Coast Humane Society,” explained Pedro Gonzalez.

Over the last few weeks, Gonzalez has been visiting small businesses throughout the city asking them to donate certain items that can be raffled off later to raise money for animal services.

“I went to every small business in Cape Coral and asked them to help. You’d be surprised the response I had. Every single business donated some,” he said. “Every business donated something that we will raffle or sell to get that money for the humane society.”

From 3-8 p.m., in the Pet Universe parking lot at 4506 Del Prado Blvd. S., there will be a number of raffles and free giveaways, as well as free food and refreshments and the opportunity to adopt a pet.

Also, the event is an opportunity for participating small businesses to receive local exposure, he said.

Other than the price of feeding and lodging an animal, the Gulf Coast Humane Society offers low-cost vaccinations and food for pets across Lee County through Lilly’s Project.

“They actually have a lot of problems keeping all the animals there,” said Gonzalez.

Andrea Calkins, volunteer coordinator at the Gulf Coast Humane Society, said the shelter has taken in more than 300 animals this year, which is much higher than the number of animals in years past.

Raised funds Friday will go toward feeding animals, cleaning supplies, medical costs and “everything to keep them in a reasonably dignified environment.”

“This year has been particularly busy because of the recession. We took in quite a few more animals than last year, but we’ve done more adoptions, too,” she said.

Each animal costs the shelter approximately $500 to maintain and that price helps bring the animal up to date on vaccinations, feed the animals and find them a new home. All animals are also implanted with a microchip and a county tag is included.

While animals cost the shelter hundreds of dollars, surrendering owners are only charged a one-time continued care fee of $50 for a dog and $30 for a cat. Therefore, other funds need to be found to cover the costs of the animals.

Some of the contributing businesses for Friday’s fund-raiser include L.A. Fitness in Cape Coral, B.J.’s Wholesale, Shell Oil, Alive and Well Holistic Center, A Touch of Class Pet Grooming, The Cuban Restaurant and more.

“Last minute, a lot of people are still calling me to donate stuff,” said Gonzalez.

The Gulf Coast Humane Society is also asking local residents to consider becoming an animal foster parent.

“We are trying to get more foster parents. Anyone who wants to foster animals can contact Gulf Coast Humane Society so we can free up space for other people to bring in animals,” said Calkins.

For more information, visit: www.gulfcoasthumanesociety.org.