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Animal shelter support opportunities abound

Facility looks to raise money for HVAC system with match from local philanthropists


Several fundraising efforts are underway or approaching to help the Newberg Animal Shelter as it continues outfitting its new home on Sandoz Road.

When A-dec Inc. founder and philanthropist Ken Austin learned of shelter volunteers crafting makeshift air conditioning units to keep shelter kittens cool last summer, he wanted to help out.

The volunteers were using fans and ice to cool down the cat area, because while many improvements have been completed on the shelter in recent months, it still lacks an HVAC system to control air temperature. That has been next on the shelter’s list of items to install.

“It’ll allow us to house cats more comfortably,” shelter board member Alyson Clair said.

Purchasing and installing such a system carries a cost of about $30,000 that the nonprofit shelter doesn’t have, so Austin contacted the shelter and said he would match half the cost of an HVAC system, challenging businesses and community members to donate the other half.

That campaign is underway and has raised about 15 percent of its goal.

Funds left over will go toward helping animals in special cases.

“Anything beyond that is going to be a Joan Austin ‘angel fund,’” Clair explained. “Basically it will go into a special fund to help animals who need more extensive surgery, or anything that falls outside our normal scope of things.”

That could include expanded medical care, neutering or emergency situations.

While that effort continues, a first-time fundraising event for the shelter’s general fund approaches in April.

“Wine & Whiskers” will be a wine-themed fundraising event that features silent and live auctions, a wine wall, appetizers and more.

The event will be held at the Chehalem Cultural Center and will feature emcee Cliff Barackman of Animal Planet fame. It will take place at 5 p.m. April 30. Tickets are $40 for a single attendee, or $300 for a table of eight.

Funds raised through that event will go into regular costs for the shelter, which increase during each kitten season. The shelter is gearing up for another big kitten year.

“We’ve had over 200 kittens since July and we expect the same amount this year,” Clair said. That’s not to mention the canine tenants: there are now more than a dozen dogs at the shelter, and it varies by the day.

Those animal visitors are soon to be a bit more comfortable during their stay at the shelter, following an event held last weekend in Tualatin.

A a sewing supply store in Tualatin hosted a sewing party last weekend featuring a special edition sewing machine — which is outfitted with a paw print faceplate.

The company came up with the special edition sewing machine to express the link between pets and sewing: often while sewing people will have their pets nearby — smaller pets may even perch on the sewing machine. Plus, pet owners may sew clothes or blankets for their four-legged companions.

Clair, besides working with the Newberg shelter, is an avid knitter who has authored a book on the subject. She was at the event last weekend and the sewing party focused on knitting kennel quilts that will be donated to the Newberg shelter.

The quilts will be particularly beneficial for animals who have a harder time standing up.

“It helps them get a little comfier having multiple layers of fabric,” Clair said.

Whether it’s attending a wine event, donating for an HVAC or simply sewing a blanket, there are many ways to support Newberg’s local provider of transitional housing for animals.

The shelter is also always in need of kitten food and formula, as well as grain-free cat or dog for pets with allergies.

The animal shelter, located at 1591 S. Sandoz Road, can be reached at 503-554-9285.