Looking for a fun, inexpensive place to take your family this Saturday evening? How about helping a good cause while you're at it? This Saturday, January 26, Berea Animal Rescue Fund will be hosting their annual Soup-R-Bowl Dinner at Berea High School Cafeteria. Joe Borosky, shelter manager, says that Berea ARF has been holding this fundraiser for 12 years, and it is a much anticipated event each time around. The event is from 4-7pm, and it includes all you can eat chili, soup, salads, sandwich wraps, beverages, and desserts. The admission price is just $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12, and it is free for any children younger than 5. There will even be raffle baskets and Berea ARF merchandise for sale. The funds raised will go toward shelter operations, animal healthcare, and making sure the animals get the care that they need. Aside from the admission charge and any raffle tickets or merchandise you may choose to purchase, ARF asks that you consider bringing donations off of their wish list if you have extras or wish to help a little more. The items most needed right now at the shelter are canned cat food, laundry detergent, garbage bags, and paper towels. These items help to carry out day to day functions such as keeping dog and cat cages clean and giving the animals fresh bedding daily.
Only volunteers can participate in baking for or helping run the Soup-R-Bowl event, but if you wish to help with future events, Borosky says that becoming a volunteer can open many different doors for volunteer opportunities at Berea ARF. This can involve being a Canine Companion--walking and spending quality time with the dogs, cleaning cages, doing laundry, and helping potential adopters--or a Feline Friend--spending time with the cats, cleaning cat cages, and helping potential adopters. A volunteer can help with fundraising, adopting out animals, and selling merchandise. Being a volunteer could also mean becoming an approved foster home to temporarily house animals while they await their forever homes. The more foster homes there are, the more animals that can be helped at once. Borosky says that they are constantly looking for volunteers, and if you or someone you know would like to sign up to become a volunteer or find out what all is involved, you can contact the shelter, and the volunteers or Joe himself can send you in the right direction. The potential volunteer will need to attend a volunteer orientation, and everything can be arranged there.
The event will surely be fun, but it is also important to know the cause that is being supported. Berea Animal Rescue Fund is a no time limit 501 (c) 3 non-profit animal rescue located in Berea, Ohio. They run solely on grants, donations, and fundraisers, so all help from their supporters is much needed to be able to help save more animals. Being a no time limit facility means that some animals stay with the shelter for long periods of time before they are finally lucky enough to find their forever homes. This can get expensive, and adoption fees usually don't even cover part of what is paid to care for an animal. This means that ARF greatly benefits from its volunteers, fundraisers, donations, and its supporters spreading the word about these things to others.
When asked why he personally believes in extended stay animal rescues like Berea Animal Rescue Fund, Mr. Borosky said, "Every animal deserves a chance, and they deserve a fair chance." These are words to live by, especially for Berea ARF, who will rescue animals from pounds and take strays found by animal control on the street, and assuming they are healthy and are able to be worked with, they will stay an indefinite time with the shelter. They do not set time limits on how long they will keep an animal. They give them all fair chances at getting a forever home. So how many animals are in Berea Animal Rescue's custody currently? Borosky says there are 40-50 dogs and 150-200 cats in custody (in foster care or on shelter property). The number varies greatly daily with intakes and adoptions, so it is hard to give an exact number. Each of these animals receive their basic shots, rabies shot (if age appropriate), feline leukemia or heartworm test, worming, and are spayed or neutered before they are allowed to be adopted out. Dogs also receive a heartworm pill, flea preventative, and a microchip.
Borosky says of his long term goals for Berea Animal Rescue, "My goal is to ultimately put ourselves out of business and live in a world where all animals are cared for responsibly." This would mean that all animals are spayed or neutered and not given up at shelters. This goal may seem completely impossible, but with animal rescues like Berea Animal Rescue who take in strays and help with population control by spaying or neutering before adoption, proper education about the benefits of population control, and people who support all these efforts, maybe one day, it can be achieved.
Thank you to Joe Borosky for information about Berea Animal Rescue and for taking the time to answer questions. Also thank you to all those who support Berea ARF and other rescues trying to make a difference for voiceless animals.