Tara Hellewell, executive director with Central Alberta Humane Society, said the shelter has about 200 animals at the shelter or in foster care waiting for families. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Donations are down slightly at Red Deer animal shelter

Central Alberta Humane Society lottery has returned

Ten-week-old puppies Charlie, Sally and Schroeder are waiting at the Central Alberta Humane Society for their forever homes.

“We call them the Charlie Brown crew,” said society executive director Tara Hellewell, while visiting with the playful puppies who were named after the comic strip characters.

The puppies have been spayed or neutered and are ready for adoption.

“I think they’re going to make a great addition to somebody’s family. They are a border collie-mix. We know border collies can be really smart, active as well, so they will need an active home that’s happy to take them for lots of big walks and lots of play time.”

They are among 31 dogs at the shelter.

About 170 cats, including some kittens, are either at the shelter or in its foster care program. Until Dec. 29, there is no fixed amount to pay to adopt a cat over six months old. People get to choose how much to pay.

Hellewell said right now, donations to the shelter are down slightly.

“We’re really hoping we’ll see more donations come in the door for Christmas, because what we raise in December helps to support the animals in care for the whole of next year. If we’re short, it really puts us in a bind when it comes to the medical side of things and care.”

She recognized it’s tough economic times for everyone.

“We’ve made lots of cutbacks and adjustments last year. We’re already operating as lean as we possibly can. It’s just really hard to imagine where we’d make further cuts if we can’t get the revenue.”

The society runs on an annual budget of $1.2 million.

Hellewell said the shelter is not government funded and relies on donations from the community and support for the society’s fundraising events and programs like For The Love Of Animals Lottery.

It’s the second year for the 50/50 lottery, and so far, about 7,000 tickets have been sold.

“We launched earlier than last year, but we have a bigger goal this year to sell about $50,000 worth.”

Last year, $36,000 in tickets were sold and the grand prize winner took home $18,000.

Tickets are $25 each or three for $50, five for $75 and eight for $100. Tickets for the Feb. 5 draw can be purchased online or at the shelter.


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