This sweet little black-and-white kitty cordially invites you to The Winter Whisker Fundraiser, which will take place Dec. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Outpost and Event Center on Brushy Fork Road. Tickets are available at The Outpost, LUAC, Jen Kesling State Farm and Nails Plus in Buckhannon. / All photos by Monica Zalaznik

LUAC is raising money for a surgical suite, and you can help pets get the care they need by attending a Dec. 17 dinner

BUCKHANNON – The Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility is inviting the community to dinner to raise money for their own in-house surgical suite.

The Winter Whisker Fundraiser will take place Dec. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Outpost and Event Center on Brushy Fork Road.

Director of the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility Jan Cochran said LUAC employees and volunteers are looking to raise funds by selling tickets at $25 a person and six-person tables at $200 with drink coupons at the cash bar.

“To raise funds, we’re also going to businesses and asking for donations of items that we can auction off at a live auction that night,” Cochran said. “We’re going to have a DJ, and then a meal, which will consist of brisket, baked potato, salad, bread, dessert, coffee, water and tea. There’ll be a cash bar and tickets are on sale; people can get tickets at The Outpost, LUAC, Jen Kesling State Farm, and they can get them at Nails Plus in Buckhannon.”

Greetings from this kitty at LUAC. S/he is hoping you get your tickets to the Winter Whisker Fundraiser so LUAC can purchase equipment for a surgical suite to help other kitties like him/her!

The cost is estimated to be about $20,000 to convert an existing room at LUAC into a new surgical suite.

“We just want everybody to come and have a good time for a good cause because ever since I started here 20 years ago, this has been one of my goals — for us to have a surgical unit here,” Cochran said. “There have been a couple of times I thought we were going to have [access to] a vet that would allow us to do something, but it didn’t happen.”

Cochran said LUAC is approaching businesses and organizations, as well as selling tickets to individual attendees.

“We looked into the cost, and we know we have to raise a lot of money, so we’re going to ask bigger businesses if they want to make a monetary donation,” she explained. “We’re going to do a bronze, silver and gold level, so if you donate $1,000, you’re going to be a bronze level, silver is $2,000, and $3,000 will be gold, and there will be a plaque commemorating everyone that donated.”

Cochran said they have a veterinarian lined up to perform the surgeries and ensure all the animals leave with the necessary medical care.

“At first, it’s going to start out with just the pets that are adopted here, but eventually we want to do some low-cost clinics where people can bring their cats and dogs to get fixed,” Cochran said. “That’s the down road, but hopefully within a year after we open, we can do this. We’re also hoping to [neuter or spay] some feral cats and would like to do a cheap price point if you bring them in a trap, and they will get their ears tipped and everything.”

Price points for adopting animals that have been fixed at LUAC have not yet been determined, and out-of-state adopters will still be able to adopt and have the animal adopted later.

“The whole goal of everything is to make sure every dog that we send out here has already been vaccinated, every dog is going to be seen before they leave here because it’s going to go through surgery and have an exam,” Cochran said. “We would still do contracts for out-of-state people because we’re not going to ask someone to drive three to four hours to come back from another state after surgery to pick up the animal they wanted to adopt, so we’re still going to do the contracts with them and then once they send proof they complied, we’ll do the same thing we’ve always done – a reimbursement of a part of the adoption fee.”

Currently, LUAC uses contracts and vouchers to make sure animals are fixed or neutered after being adopted.

“Seventy-five percent of people comply, but you still have the 25 percent that you have to hunt down, but there’s some people that move and everything so much is this is hard to track them down, so this would eliminate that,” Cochran said.

To learn more about the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility and pets available for adoption, visit their website or Facebook page.

More babies at LUAC waiting for their fur-ever homes and hoping you’ll come out December 17 for a fundraiser dinner that will assist LUAC in purchasing the necessary items to develop an in-house surgical suite.

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