January 12, 2021

Fund-A-Paw: Spotlight on Pet Rescue Virtual Fundraisers

a puppy waits on a leash to the side of a stage. Stage lights, spotlight, and lighting truss can be seen.

This article was updated January 7, 2022. Originally published November 11, 2020.

More than 84 million households in the U.S. have pets and 80% consider those pets as members of the family. The AV Department team is no different. In fact, you’ll find pet photos on our desks and a dog bed in the office. It’s always a delight to help animal rescue organizations produce their virtual events. Check out these pet rescue virtual fundraisers hosted by groups based in Kansas, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Georgia.

Whisker Wonderland 2021

Cat Adoption Team
November 12, 2021
In-Studio Live Stream

Cat Adoption Team’s Whisker Wonderland was a MEOWvelous virtual event co-hosted by Wesleigh Ogle, KATU News Anchor and Reporter, and Heather J. Miller, CAT Communications & Development Manager, along with a litter of the cutest kittens. During the live stream, Executive Director Karen Green described the impact the pandemic had on Oregon’s homeless cat and kitten population. CAT also shared a special adoption story that showed the love adopted cats bring to their new families.

Cat — and CAT — lovers watching the live stream were delighted with the wiggles and meows of the tiny kittens held by the hosts along with the hilarious annual cat song performed by CAT staff. Donations and raffle entries were hosted on Give Lively. Donations made during the event exceeded $90,000 — meeting the event goal and exceeding the amount raised in 2020 by 20%!

  • Special Feature: See Your Cat in the 2023 CAT Calendar! One lucky winner of the raffle will receive a private, professional photo shoot for their cat(s) with one photo from the session selected as a featured photo for a month in the annual CAT calendar. Only 80 $100 raffle tickets were sold.

Portland’s Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest offering adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens. CAT is dedicated to saving the lives of homeless felines and has made 50,000 adoptions possible since opening in 1998. Cats and kittens at CAT have access to enrichment activities, behavior modification, medical care, and a variety of housing options to meet their individual needs.

Virtual Event Partners: Swaim Strategies, Give Lively.

Wet Nose Soirée

April 9, 2021
On-Location Virtual Live Stream

The Wet Nose Soirée has so much to love: adorable kittens on the Cat Cam, super sweet therapy dogs, engaging co-hosts, a fun social feed, touching personal stories, unique auction items, two raffles, and generous donors committed to supporting the life-saving work DoveLewis provides to every animal that needs help.

Guests who purchased virtual event tickets received a gourmet meal, wine, and party favors delivered to their homes to enjoy during the live program. Co-hosts Johnna Wells and Poison Waters were joined by Kyla, Liberty, and Kiev – therapy dogs from the Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams who visited the set with their handlers.

  • Special feature: The winner of auction item “Name That Brew at Lucky Lab” will get to work with Lucky Lab Brewing Company to select and name a beer inspired by their own dog. The auction package includes a launch party at Lucky Lab, and bragging rights for the pooch who will be featured on the label. The exciting online auction hosted on the Greater Giving platform was open for six days, closing the day after the event.

For 45 years, nonprofit DoveLewis has been the trusted place for emergency veterinary care for pet owners across the Pacific Northwest and is the only Level 1 Emergency and Critical Care Facility certified in state of Oregon. During the pandemic, DoveLewis cared for 30,000 animals which was a 20% increase from the previous year. Wet Nose Soirée is the biggest annual fundraiser for DoveLewis, providing essential funds for financial assistance programs, stray and wild animal care, pet loss support program, and a world-class blood bank. Donor support ensures the doors are always open for every animal that needs care.

Virtual Event Partner: Benefit Auctions 360; Poinson Waters; Greater Giving; Vibrant Table

Joining Hands & Paws

Ahimsa House
March 13, 2021
100% Virtual Live Stream

Joining Hands & Paws was an incredible celebration of Ahimsa House. Based in Georgia, Ahimsa House helps people and their pets escape domestic violence safely together. Hosted from home by Hailly Butler – ready with an Old Fash-Hound Cocktail — the entirely virtual event featured inspiring personal stories of survivors, a celebrity guest appearance by Victoria Stillwell, and live and silent auctions. Joining Hands & Paws Celebration raised more than $50,000 to support Ahimsa House!

A fun and interactive game during the event was a live wine pull. For $20, 35 guests were guaranteed a $33 bottle of wine, while one lucky guest won the 36th bottle valued at $140. The drawing was held at the end of the program and the winner had to claim their bottle in the live chat.

  • Special feature: For $95, donors could become Prominent Pet Sponsors. The Prominent Pet package included a party pack of tasty treats and beverages, access to and an appearance during the pre-show Yappy Hour, plus photos of all prominent pets were featured during the live fundraiser.

In 2020, Ahimsa House answered 3,600 calls for help, and served 149 new clients and 257 pets (furry, feathered and scaled). During the pandemic, additional time was provided for clients to escape, find safety, and get back on their feet. The average time increased from 60 to 90 days. That equates to 14,000+ nights of safe shelter. Seventy-one percent of victims of domestic violence report that their abusers have harmed or threatened to harm their pets. Those threats and actions prevent or delay nearly half of the victims from leaving their abuser. All services at Ahimsa House are free, including placement of pets in a foster home or shelter, pet transportation, well visits, vaccinations, supplies and food. Since 2004, Ahimsa House has ensured pets are healthy, fed, and loved until they can be reunited with their families.

Virtual Event Partner: Greater Giving

A Tail to Remember: Auction for the Animals

West Columbia Gorge Humane Society
October 16, 2020
In-Studio Live Stream

In moving their largest fundraiser online, West Columbia Gorge Humane Society (WCGHS) focused on sharing a day in the life of staff, volunteers, and animals. A Tail to Remember: Auction for the Animals featured a week long auction and a live streamed event with special guest appearances.

Hosted in The AV Department studio by WCGHS Interim Executive Director Micki Simeone and Development Manager Peggy DiPrima, the event began with a special welcome message from Emmy-award-winning journalist Wayne Havrelly. A Tail to Remember generated more than $88,000 in cash donations and $28,000 from the online auction. Supporters contributed online and by text through Mobile Cause giving platform.

  • Special Feature: in-studio special appearances by three puppies, an older girl named Daisy, Puff and Puffy — two large, fluffy cats — and a litter of five adorable tiny kittens. All the sweet guests were available for adoption and naming opportunities were available for $1,500 donations. The puppies had just been transported to Washougal, Washington from shelters in Texas.

West Columbia Gorge Humane Society, established in 1994, is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit, no-kill animal shelter located in Washougal, Washington. The mission of WCGHS is to end unnecessary euthanasia of all healthy or treatable companion animals in the community and find them permanent, loving homes.

Virtual Event Partner: Mobile Cause

Bow Meow 2020

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter
October 15, 2020
100% Virtual Live Stream

The 14th annual Bow Meow fundraiser went virtual this year with a live event and online auction to support Prairie Paws Animal Shelter in Ottawa, Kansas. Special auction items included taking over Prairie Paw’s Instagram account with your pet, and a virtual hangout with Broadway stars. Donations and auction bidding took place on the Greater Giving platform.

Bow Meow was hosted by Kansas City radio personality Brady Goodman and benefit auctioneer Trisha Brauer. During the Fund-A-Paw special appeal, each level of giving was associated with a specific need: $100 to cover a doggie dental; $600 donation to provide 100 microchips; $1,000 to support a year of fear-free behavior supplies; $5,000 to provide vaccines for 1,000 animals or provide gas for a year for pets to visit seniors in the community. Nearly $28,000 in cash donations were received, exceeding the event goal.

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter is a private, no kill, 501(c)(3) non-profit shelter, founded more than 70 years ago. Staff and volunteers are dedicated to give aid and comfort to homeless shelter animals, provide adoptions, help reunite pets with owners by offering low cost microchipping, and educate the community about responsible pet ownership.

Virtual Event Partners: Taking Bids Fundraising, Greater Giving

Fur Ball 2020: Hawaii Fid-O

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region
August 8, 2020
100% Virtual Live Stream

The signature event for Colorado Springs-based Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region benefits 25,000+ homeless and abused animals HSPPR cares for each year. Fur Ball 2020: Hawaii Fid-O brought the tail-wagging good time online. Benefit Auctioneer Rich Schur and his delightful canine co-host Delilah emceed the event from their home studio in Colorado with production partners in Oregon.

Guests were encouraged to use the hashtag #FurBallHSPPR and share their Hawaii Five-O-themed at-home gala attire on social media.

  • Special Feature: The Pet Parade provided dozens of “awwws” and “ohhhhs”.

The online auction, hosted on GiveSmart, was open for 11 days, closing two days after the live event. HSPPR raised $327,000 of the $350,000 goal within a week of the event.

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is the largest nonprofit animal shelter in southern Colorado and provides adoption options, animal cruelty investigations, subsidized spays/neuters, a Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral cats, and other important services. Rated four stars by Charity Navigator, HSPPR is a local, independent nonprofit that relies on donations from the community to fund its many humane programs.

Virtual Event Partners: Swaim Strategies, Schur Success Group, GiveSmart

Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. It is a pleasure to help organizations dedicated to animal rescue, care, and adoption raise essential funds to continue their work through virtual fundraisers.