Juneau Animal Rescue will be celebrating its ninth wine and beer tasting and silent auction fundraiser on Saturday, July 30 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Centennial Hall.
JAR has been running similar fundraisers since 2014 but this will be their first event since COVID-19 shut down in-person functions in 2021.
Admission is $50 per person and open to the public. Tickets can be purchased the day of, however, people are encouraged to buy tickets ahead of time through the website because typically events in the past have sold out well in advance. JAR Executive Director Samantha Blankenship said based on the tremendous success of the 2020 fundraiser, organizers are expecting another large turn out.
“It’s a really fun event; it’s our largest annual fundraiser, and helps us offset the costs of caring for each animal in our care. Adoption fees do not begin to cover the expenses of putting an animal into adoption, which can run anywhere from $300 to $600 per animal, depending upon their breed/size and how long they are in our care,” Blankenship said. “All animals adopted from our facility are fully vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered, with the exception of some small animals.”
The event is 21 and over, however, JAR will also be providing non-alcoholic options for people that just want to come for the silent auction and enjoy local food. Some of the auction items will be round trip tickets on Alaska Airlines, kayak trips, whale watching tours, artwork, jewelry, massages, and more. Participating vendors are to include Alaskan Brewing Co., Devil’s Club Brewing Co., Forbidden Peak Brewery, K&L Distributors, The Odom Corp., Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, and Specialty Imports
This year’s theme is Hairball: A Masque-fur-ade, so attendees are invited to come show off their wildest hairdos. Local pianist Tom Locher will be providing music throughout and Dr. Amy Dressel will be the emcee for the evening. All of the proceeds go to Juneau Animal Rescue.
Over the last 75 days, Juneau Animal Rescue has had 83 animals surrendered, 61 of which were cats or kittens. They also saw 56 stray or abandoned animals enter the shelter. 43 of those stray or abandoned animals were able to be returned to their owners, and 13 were unclaimed. In the past several months they’ve seen an influx in owner relinquishes as well as an influx of litters of kittens Blankenship said she hasn’t seen in years.
“My speculation is that people are having a harder time accessing spay and neutering services because of the veterinary shortage. We hope to be able to start offering spay and neutering services to the public and assist low-income qualified individuals by the fall,” said Blankenship. “We’ve had more dogs recently, but still not quite as many as we do cats. As far as return to owner rates go with animals that end up impounded, at least in our shelter, 97% of dogs in Juneau are returned to their owners but only about 3% of cats are ever returned to their owners.”