SPCA of Wake County raises funds for animals with annual Fur Ball

The annual SPCA Fur Ball at The Angus Barn Pavilion took place on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The annual SPCA Fur Ball at The Angus Barn Pavilion took place on Saturday, Oct. 7.

By Jennifer Primrose

"For it is in giving that we receive." - Francis of Assisi

My two loves in this world are pets and wine. From the time I was 4 years old and we decided to adopt a puppy, who I grew up with and who became the fourth child in our family, and today as an avid cat lover who also has a thirst for wine and learning all there is to know. These are my passions. I often wonder if I missed my calling to work in the veterinary field or wine industry and if it is ever too late to shift gears. But for now, I enjoy supporting the many pet rescues we have right here in North Carolina any way I can. Whether it is volunteering my time, lacing up my shoes for a 5K, attending a wine tasting or being a guest at a gala – knowing that my donations and my presence make a difference for just one homeless pet, makes me feel like I've made a difference in at least that one pet's life.

For my birthday, I was surprised with tickets to the SPCA of Wake County's 22nd Annual Fur Ball Gala held at the Angus Barn in Raleigh. This annual event changed venues last year and now includes a 3-course dinner and wine pairing in addition to a silent and live auction, raffle, chance to name a SPCA pet and more. This year also marks the SPCA's 50th anniversary – that is 50 years of saving lives! We had a great time perusing the silent auction items and deciding just what to place a bid on.

During dinner, we had a wonderful conversation with those at our table who ranged from SPCA Board members to SPCA staff to Veterinarians – all there to support this cause.

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Kim Janzen, President and CEO of the SPCA, spoke on the history of the organization that started with just one person with a dream, and with that dream 320,000 animals have been saved. Janzen mentioned to the crowd that earlier in the week, multiple animal rescues, in conjunction with the HSUS, helped save 87 animals from hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico as they arrived on a flight to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. A staff member at our table also told stories about that night and just how special it was that these groups came together to help these animals and for the first time in weeks these dogs and cats found themselves with food, safety, a warm bed and surrounded by love. In fact, when we arrived at the gala, we were greeted by two of the dogs from Puerto Rico,and I can tell you from first-hand experience, they were happy and appeared very well adjusted with tails wagging. For more information on this effort, click here.

Kim also had a very special announcement to make on this evening, as the room filled with anticipation. "Tonight I am so incredibly proud to announce to you that our vision is to end the euthanasia of all adoptable animals by 2025," she said.

This year, 2017, the SPCA took the first steps to make this happen by setting a goal to increase the number of animals being taken in and adopting out by 20 percent – nearly 700 animals.

Gerald Owens of WRAL-TV fame hosted the event for the 13th year in a row

Gerald Owens of WRAL-TV fame hosted the event for the 13th year in a row

Each year we attend, we know we will see his smiling face as he works the room greeting guests. Alongside Leland Little, auctioneer, they are pros at working the room with the live auction, paddles going up one by one, and money being raised to help support these furry ones. This 2017 event raised an astounding $300,000. Imagine how many more lives will be saved this year. For more information on the SPCA of Wake County, visit the web page at www.spcawake.org.

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