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Five animal rescue groups in Shelby County say they will be joining forces several times a year in order to coordinate fundraisers.
Part of that will include better marketing, said Vicki Moore, spokesperson for 5rescues.org.
“We are banding together for the big fundraisers, like the Monarchs, Mutts and Meows, and this year’s Halloween Potty, and hopefully, a summer event next year,” she said. “We are hoping to have three big events each year.”
The five groups uniting are the Shelby County Humane Society, the No Kill Mission, Woodstock Animal Foundation, Operation Catsnip and Tyson’s Chance.
Rusty Newton, animal control director at the Shelby County Animal Shelter, said he had not yet heard of the group, but thinks the idea behind it is good.
“I don’t know about it yet, so I don’t want to say too much, but I do think it sounds like a good idea,” he said.
Moore said although she was very happy to hear the animal shelter’s recent crisis had passed, she is concerned that the situation could turn around again.
“We are very happy that people have stepped up to help, and we are very appreciative, but we don’t want to find ourselves in the same dilemma in the future,” she said, adding she hopes that the rescue groups’ plan to join forces will go a long way toward that goal.
As for 5rescues.org becoming an “official” business or entity, it won’t be, she said, because its members do not want to file for a tax ID number. The Web site is not active, either, but it is under development, she said.
Robin Kenyon, a volunteer at the No Kill Mission, said the decision to form the loose association was not prompted by the Sept. 1 deadline to euthanize animals at the Shelby County Animal Shelter or by the squabble among animal rescue organizations last spring about how the proceeds from the Monarchs, Mutts and Meows fundraiser were divided.
“This is something we have been talking about doing for a couple of years,” she said. “We’re all in it for the same things, so we decided to come together several times a year and put on some big events and share the profits.”
Mark Smith, assistant vice president of Citizens Union Bank in Shelbyville, is also on board.
“I am a board member for the Humane Society, and the bank supports my involvement in this, because CUB is very community-oriented,” he said. “Personally, I think that there are a lot of people in Shelby County that really care about the animals, and I think 5rescues.org is a great way for us to come together to do whatever we can. I think that mutual cooperation is a step in the right direction.”
Ashley Shelburne, owner of Shelburne’s Pet Center and founder of Tyson’s Chance animal rescue organization on Kentucky Street, said she was happy to join the group.
“We had been working together on some projects and decided to work together as team, because a team effort can accomplish so much more,” she said.
The group’s first fundraiser will be Halloween Potty, planned for Oct. 27 at Claudia Sanders Dinner House.
The event, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight, will be a costume party, and tickets are $35 each. Guests must be 21 and older because alcohol will be available. There will be a disc jockey and door prizes. There will also be a Spooky Lamp Contest, sponsored by CUB bank. Any business that wants to sponsor a lamp may contact Moore at 502-552-4747.
The next fundraiser will be the Monarchs, Mutts and Meows, set for next year. The event was last held in February and generated $15,000.