Fundraising for Our Furry Friends


    Keri Kostich, a volunteer with the Thompson Road Regional Dog Park and her 9-year-old Newfoundland Samson, are dedicated to fundraising for pets. Dressed in their formal wear, the two prove whether the event is casual or fancy, they’ll be there!

    Across the board for organizations that exist to promote the welfare of animals is the issue of how to find enough funding to do what they need to do. Most of these organizations are nonprofits, and run by volunteers, and they all have needs to meet, from securing facilities to food and medical services for animals. That means there are all kinds of animal-related fundraising events that take place throughout the year.


    Adopt-A-Pet of Fenton, for example, takes on specialty cases, and the funds they are able to raise often go to meet those needs. A couple years ago, they did a special auction to raise money for an in-house X-Ray machine, which allows them to better treat animals with injuries, such as the dog they’re currently caring for which has two broken legs.

    “We’re kind of well-known for taking on medical cases,” said kennel administrator Joyce Zentmeyer.

    Among their fundraisers are the recent golf outing on May 18 at Fenton Farms, and the picnic at their facility on July 13.

    “We have quite a few,” said events coordinator Kim Wheeler. “One of our bigger events is the silent auction we have, usually in February.”

    All of their events, she said, involve an auction of some type, and the community has been generous in its donations.

    Zentmeyer said Adopt-A-Pet Fenton is passionate about spreading the word about spaying and neutering animals, whether it’s through Trap-Neuter-Return of feral cats or the Spay Neuter Assistance Program, which helps people afford the procedures for their pets. This, Zentmeyer said, makes a real difference in the problem of overpopulation.

    Adopt-A-Pet Fenton offers shelter for homeless animals, including those with special needs, which includes enrichment programs to keep the animals happy and stimulated while they await their forever homes.

    To find out more, visit

    Lapeer Dog Park

    The much-anticipated Lapeer Dog Park edges closer with each fundraiser, though there’s a long way to go before the park is a reality.

    Previous fundraisers have included two dog park expos, a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings, multiple casino trips, a dog walk, pet pictures with Santa and spaghetti dinners. There is an upcoming bus trip to a Detroit Tigers game on June 8, and registration will open soon for a June 22 dog walk fundraiser at Lapeer CrossFit. The third annual dog park expo will be planned for September.

    “So far the committee has secured roughly $30,000 with donations, fundraising and in-kind services,” said Lapeer Parks and Rec director Rodney Church. “The new cost estimate (for the park) is $160,000-ish. People can find dog park related news on our website,, or like us on Facebook at Lapeer Dog Park.”

    Thompson Road Regional Dog Park

    It took a few years, but the community came together to make the Thompson Road Regional Dog Park a reality in Fenton Township. In fact, it took three communities – Fenton Township and the cities of Linden and Fenton.

    “We started simple,” said Keri Kostich. “Our big idea was a fence.”

    From there, they got local sponsors to provide benches, and they have ongoing fundraisers for upkeep and improvements. They’re looking at agility equipment, with the help of a local Cub Scout and, said Kostich, “we would like to eventually have a pavilion, but that’s quite an expense.”

    In June, they will have a Paint your Pet fundraiser at Painting with A Twist in Fenton, and their fall fundraiser will be a Laugh Your Tail Off comedy show. Interested parties can find out more by following the Facebook page, Thompson Road Regional Dog Park.

    Humane Society of Genesee County

    The Humane Society of Genesee County recently held its 21st Annual Paws on Parade Champagne Brunch & Charity Auction at the Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc on April 28. The event featured silent and live auction items, a visit from shelter animals and the unveiling of the Humane Society’s retrofitted Cruelty Investigation/ transport van.

    Proceeds from the event were focused on raising money for new kennels to replace the 30-year-old kennels at the shelter. The old ones, said event coordinator Terry Ashley, were potentially risky for the animals, volunteers and staff due to deterioration.

    All proceeds from Paws on Parade will benefit the animals at the Humane Society of Genesee County, with a special focus on raising money for new kennels at the shelter.

    Leading up to the event, an anonymous donor pledged $12,500 as a match if the event could raise that amount. The total raised at this year’s event wasn’t available by press time, but last year, the Humane Society raised $80,000 from Paws on Parade, using the funds to build a pavilion and dog park behind the shelter. The goal for this year was $73,000.

    PAWS of Swartz Creek

    PAWS of Swartz Creek, a foster-based animal shelter and adoption organization and the shelter feature in this edition of Pet Press, is in need of a facility to call home, but they also need to raise funds to care for the animals they take in on a daily basis.

    “Frankly, we just do as many fund-raisers as we can,” said board president Ellen Brothers.

    That fundraising includes T-shirt sales on their website, bake sales, a bowling fundraiser in March and their annual dinner auction, which took place on May 3. Brothers said it’s difficult to gain a lot of traction toward the building fund when they need to use the money they bring in for the animals they have now.

    Paradise Animal Rescue

    In Lapeer, Paradise Animal Rescue depends on the kindness of donors and volunteers to make their organization work, so they tend to hold a variety of fundraisers throughout the year.

    “You name it, we do it,” said president and volunteer Lorraine Edwards. “Everything we do, we do on donations, fundraisers and adoption fees.”

    And for 90 percent of the animals, she said, the adoption fee nowhere near covers the cost when you think spaying or neutering, testing, vaccinations and everything else involved in the animal’s care.

    The two largest fundraisers for Paradise Animal Rescue are the Cheeseburgers for Paradise, which was held in April, and the Wine and Whiskers event, which will be the first Saturday in August at Metamora Golf & Country Club.

    At other times throughout the year, they will auction off items on their Facebook page, hold rummage sales, ask for donations during their Four Corners fundraiser, and even have pop-up fundraisers if they take in an animal with severe medical needs.

    “We try to be very specific about what the fundraiser is for,” Edwards said.

    Find out more at

    It goes without saying that people are passionate about animals, and they’re willing to put their money where their heart is. And these local organizations and their dedicated teams of staff and volunteers do their best on a daily basis to make sure that generosity is directed where it’s needed most.


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