Fund raising for furry friends

‘You can never have too much food’

The holiday season is a time for giving and showing loved ones they’re appreciated. That doesn’t always, but should, include our pets and less fortunate animals, according to Board of Education member Kathy Yolish.

Over the past eight years Yolish and her husband, Norman, have organized birthday parties for their 10-year-old service dog named Kinzy, who is a Maltese/Yorkshire terrier mix. Yolish said although the private event in October is a ton of fun for the 70-plus people who attend, it also serves as a fund-raiser for the city’s animal shelter.

“Sure, it’s nice to see all of my former colleagues because we never get a chance to see each other, but everyone really comes out to support the greater cause, which is the animals.”

Last year, Yolish said, they surpassed their fund-raising goal of $2,000 to be donated by more than $200 and each year their goal amount increases. In all, the eight parties have led to almost $10,000 raised for the animal shelter.

According to Yolish, the money goes toward buying the animals medicine, toys and food.

Shelton’s animal control supervisor, Leon Sylvester, said there isn’t a time of year when supplies are more required than others — it’s always important to have a sufficient amount of food and money available for the animals at the Shelton Animal Shelter.

“Within the last 48 or 72 hours alone we have taken on eight new dogs,” said Sylvester. “Food can go pretty fast depending on the amount of dogs and kittens we are taking care of at one time. You can never have enough food and supplies.”

Sylvester added that although he hasn’t personally encountered people giving animals as gifts during the holiday season, there are factors that are important to consider when doing so.

“First and foremost, you should make sure that if you’re giving someone an animal that they’re not allergic,” said Sylvester. “But also that the person is going to be a good fit and able to take care of the animal. It’s a commitment.”

Along with the the Yolish family, Mohegan Elementary School also made a donation to the shelter. The school held “Dress Down Day” for the staff and raised nearly $800 to be put toward shelter expenses. The shelter accepts donations year-round but hasn’t done any formal fund raising.