Online voting, fundraiser help open new pet clinic

By CHRIS JACKETT
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Owning a pet can be expensive, but Wyandotte Animal Pound via Pound Pals Downriver and P.A.W.S. of Michigan want to help.

The pound and P.A.W.S. want to open a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. Getting a pet spayed or neutered can be costly, and pregnancy in cats and dogs can lead to a variety of diseases, such as various cancers and, for cats, AIDS.

“Our ultimate goal is not how much money you have, but how many pets we can prevent from getting diseases,” said Mary Gasiewski, volunteer coordinator. “Animals are living beings. They feel just like we do.”

The cost to create the new clinic would be $45,000, so the two organizations are working together with the Cathay House in Lincoln Park to host a special For the Love of Animals fundraiser dinner. They’ve already raised $35,000 through past fundraisers.

Cathay House will host a buffet of Chinese appetizers and entrees from 6 to 9 p.m. June 3. Both meat and vegan food options will be available. In addition to dinner, the $20 ticket includes a wine tasting by Nicole Charnley and samples of a new line of chocolate liqueur from A Piece of Cake Liqueur. A cash bar and fortune cookie raffle for gift certificates to local businesses also will be available.

“People should go because they’re supporting two wonderful causes and, in essence, helping the Downriver area,” Gasiewski said. “They’re going to bring relief by helping low-income pet owners.”

Those interested in attending the event can purchase tickets from Cathay House, 3781 Dix Highway, or mail a check to P.O. Box 2184, Riverview MI 48193.

A quicker route P.A.W.S. is taking to raise the funds for the new clinic is the Pepsi Refresh Project. By simply voting online daily at www.refresheverything.com/pawsofmichigan, P.A.W.S. can compete for a $50,000 grant to make positive improvements in the community. Voting resets at the end of each month, and P.A.W.S. was ranked 25th of more than 300 May causes as of Friday. Organization officials hope it can take the top spot in June.

“This is something we believe in,” Gasiewski said. “I want to see this happen. It helps everybody.”

If voting daily sounds like too much of a personal commitment, proxy voting also is available. Providing a name and birthday to P.A.W.S. enables volunteers to vote daily on your behalf. Voters’ personal information will not be used for anything after the contest unless they opt to receive a newsletter. E-mail info@pawsofmichigan.com for more information.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)