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Bets for Pets Fur Ball will be Saturday

Organizers expect 800 to attend shelter fundraiser

March 18, 2012
By JOE SUTTER, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Animal lovers are gearing up for a night of casino games, live music, and a live and silent auction. The Almost Home Humane Society shelter will hold its fourth annual Bets for Pets Fur Ball starting at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Shelter Manager Tania Dencklau said that a lot of people were excited for the event.

"Every year we get calls, Are you doing the fur ball this year?"

Article Photos

-Messenger file photo
Humane Society of North Central Iowa animal care manager Chris Ball gets kisses from one of the dogs that was available for adoption at the Almost Home Animal Shelter.

Animal Care Manager Chris Ball said the fundraiser is always a big hit.

"Usually there's been around 800 people attending," she said. "It's a wonderful turnout. There's a lot of people in the community who love the animals and want to show their support."

Guests will receive "funny money" when they arrive to use at the casino games, Ball said. There will be Blackjack tables and Plink-O, among other games. Guests can redeem their winnings for various prizes.

Fact Box

If you go:

What: Bets for Pets, the 4th annual Fur Ball. which benefits the Almost Home Humane Society animal shelter

When: 7-11 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota showroom.

Cost: $15 per person or $25 per couple in advance; $20 each at the door. Can be purchased at the shelter or Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota

The night will begin with complimentary appetizers provided by Hy-Vee. Music will be provided by TNT Productions.

"Last year there were people dancing," Ball said. "There's the dancing, and the casino part, and whatever people want to do."

The ball raises money for the shelter, which receives no federal, state or local funding, Ball said.

"All our funding comes from donations, and what we can raise and earn ourselves," she said.

Dencklau said the Almost Home shelter is a no-kill facility, so it keeps an animal until that animal finds a home. On any given day, there can be 100 animals in the shelter.

"In January and February of 2012, we've brought in a total of 94 dogs and 43 cats," she said.

Ball said the fundraiser involves many different people.

"It is a large group of wonderful volunteers, the board members and the staff - a huge collaboration of people puts together the ball.

"If people want to volunteer, we'll put them to work," she said.

As the animal care manager at the shelter, Ball oversees the staff, makes sure all the animals are cared for and processes paperwork for adoptions.

"It's all I've ever wanted to do, work with animals," she said. "When the opportunity came up to work with rescued animals on top of that, it was just the perfect position for me."

She said the best part of last year's event was seeing how much people cared about the animals.

"I think my favorite part was just to see all the people come together to have a good time, and raise money to care for the animals here."

Dencklau agreed.

"I was there last year. It's casual, it's laid back, it's fun. Everybody comes together and works for the same common goal. It's wonderful to see so many people from the community come out to support the dogs and cats here."

Contact Joe Sutter at (515) 573-2141 or



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