Valley Animal Haven celebrated its eighth anniversary with a fundraiser that will help them get through the scorching summer days.
The No-Kill Animal Shelter, located at 990 East D St. in Lemoore, was invited to join the Jordan’s Way Fundraiser Telethon on March 26.
“I’ve done a lot of fundraising in my life, but I’ve never had so much fun at a fundraiser,” said Executive Director Pam Brasil.
The shelter was selected as one of the stops on Jordan’s Way Tour. Jordan’s Way is a non-profit organization founded by Kris Rotonda, a former real estate agent from Safety Harbor, Florida. He now travels state to state helping shelters raise funds to help care for their lost, abandoned and stray dogs in need of forever homes. The organization is named after Jordan, the Rotonda Bull Mastiff, German Shepherd, and Samoyed mix rescue.
Rotonda and her team are currently visiting shelters in California, spending four hours livestreaming, and helping Valley Animal Haven raise funds.
Jordan’s Way also helped raise money for the Second Chances animal shelter in Selma on Saturday night.
Jordan’s Way fans were donating online while watching, while locals were encouraged to stop by the shelter to donate. The donations came with the inducement that, at certain goals, volunteers would be put in ridiculously stupid situations.
Goals included raised $2,000 dog burgers, ice bucket challenges, head shaves, hair dye and even face pies – Rotonda took one for $1,000 while the mayor of Lemoore, Stuart Lyons, took one once $5,000 was raised.
“[Lyons] was such a great sport. He and his wife, Mona, were just phenomenal,” Brasil said.
At $15,000, a human versus dog agility contest was held. Of course, the canine proved superior to his human friend – a feat all the more impressive considering that Graffiti, the dog that took part, is nearly blind.
Between online donations and in-person cash donations, the shelter raised about $21,000, well above its goal of $15,000.
And, while that sum is a considerable sum for four hours of fundraising, Brasil stressed that it will cover about a month of the shelter’s expenses.
“When you break it down, $21,000 buys a lot of dog food, but we also have rent, insurance, payroll and all those things, so it’s a lot more important than just buying dog food. “Brazil said. “But we’re grateful because it’s a month-long buffer lifted in just a few hours, so that’s pretty amazing.”
In addition to fundraising, the shelter saw another big win in the fact that eight animals were adopted during the fundraiser.
One special guy in particular was adopted, Brasil said. Tango, a mix of dogs and shepherds, who had been in the shelter for eight long months, was adopted because of his talent for capturing screen time during the live broadcast.
“It was worth the whole day. We all celebrate them, but there are those elders who, when they finally have the chance to get out of here, it’s worth it, ”said an emotional Brasil.
The shelter usually has around 100 dogs and cats in its care, although there is room for a maximum of around 250 if needed.
As is usually the case with nonprofit organizations, when one fundraiser ends, another begins. Valley Animal Haven hosts its Barking Lot Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Nearly 30 vendors will be on hand, selling crafts, t-shirts, jewelry, succulents, food and more to help raise funds for the shelter.