How can local residents help out a neighbor’s pet in need? Well, that’s been the central goal of local nonprofit Pet Helpers Port Townsend as the group strives to assist neighbors …
How can local residents help out a neighbor’s pet in need? Well, that’s been the central goal of local nonprofit Pet Helpers Port Townsend as the group strives to assist neighbors struggling to afford the often expensive procedures, surgeries, and other much-needed services for their furry loved ones.
“We provide access to veterinary care for severely underfunded people in Port Townsend and nearby areas,” said Laurie Riley, a volunteer with the nonprofit. “Whenever somebody calls, that’s an opportunity for one of our volunteers to be of service in a meaningful way. It’s amazing, amazing work.”
Considering how expensive pet procedures can be, less-wealthy residents are sometimes forced to make a choice between their livelihood or basic needs and their furry friend.
“If a pet needs surgery, it can cost as much as a year’s income for minimum-wage earners. No one should have to make those heartbreaking choices,” Riley said.
Pet Helpers’ clientele primarily consists of homeless or houseless neighbors and other residents dealing with crisis, with the nonprofit providing financial aid for services from life-saving procedures to spaying or neutering pets.
“Since our inception in June 2021, we helped over 70 pets so far, and without our help, many of these pets would’ve died or would be living with conditions that no animal should ever have to live with,” Riley said. “The bulk of where our funding goes is for emergency services, surgeries, and medications.”
With monthly costs averaging around $5,000 — and yearly expenses in the $50,000-plus range — every penny counts when it comes to donations and fundraising.
“We really depend on the community to support our work, because we are a volunteer-only organization, so nobody gets paid,” Riley said. “Since veterinary care is so expensive, we are always in need of donations and funds.”
Speaking of funding, the nonprofit will be hosting a silent auction and potluck dinner, with all of the money raised going directly toward the much-needed pet services for locals in need.
The event is set for 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Quaker Meeting Hall in Port Townsend. For those interested in attending, contact Riley at email@example.com or by calling her at 360-840-5264.
Guests should either bring a pre-cooked entree, desert, or substantial side dish, or donate $10 per person or couple at the door. Attendees are asked to indicate how many people in their party will be attending due to the limited size of the venue.
Interested parties can learn more about Pet Helpers and the work the nonprofit does at pethelpersporttownsend.org.
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