Fundraising Events Canceled Due to COVID-19 Puts Furry Creatures at Shelters in Jeopardy
By Space Coast Daily // July 27, 2020
The Society’s Tuxes & Tails gala s critical for the organization’s survival
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Every August, the Brevard County goes to the dogs – and cats – at a red carpet event to benefit the Brevard Humane Society.
The Society’s Tuxes & Tails gala, for years a must-do for any animal-loving philanthropist in the area, is critical for the organization’s survival. This year, unfortunately, COVID-19 threw a wrench in the best of plans.
“We had remained optimistic that we would be able to hold our biggest event of the year, but the recent spike in COVID cases forced us to abandon that hope,” said Nice Lopez, media specialist for the Humane Society.
Along with concerts and theaters, fundraisers have been sidelined by the pandemic, leaving groups like the Humane Society scrambling to make ends meet.
“As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the generosity of the community to keep our doors open,” added Lopez.
“Due to the pandemic, we have been unable to have any of the events we use as touchpoints for community donations and adoptions. Without these events, we have lost more than $150,000 in much-needed donations and we continue to struggle as more and more animals come into our shelter.”
Brevard Humane Society, a no-kill shelter in which unwanted dogs and cats are cared for until a home can be found for them, does not receive taxpayer money and are ineligible for emergency funding. Without fundraisers, organizations such as the Humane Society and the SPCA of Brevard are in deep trouble.
“Without these events, the well-being of the hundreds of furry creatures at our shelters is in jeopardy,” added Lopez.
The Society has implemented Plan B to cut costs while still caring for the animals.
“To conserve our resources while we overcome this challenge, we have temporarily closed our Merritt Island Adoption Center and our Molly Mutt Thrift Shops are open only five days a week instead of their usual six,” said executive director Theresa Clifton.
The Humane Society typically operates at capacity, housing 75 dogs and 140 cats, adoptable animals like gorgeous Beth, with her soul-searching doggie eyes, and tiny Madison, always curious as, well, a cat.
Beth, Madison and friends will have a home at the Society until pet parents can be found to adopt them, regardless of whether the process takes weeks or months. However, as anyone who has had pets in their lives know, it takes more than love to keep them housed and fed.
It takes milk replacer for puppies and kittens, loads of puppy and kitten food, detergent, bleach and towels to keep things clean and blankets, beds and toy to keep critters warm and happy and medications to keep them healthy. It also takes money to pay utilities, upkeep and salaries.
In Titusville, the SPCA of Brevard is also trying to cope with the shortfall from canceled fundraisers.
“We had to cancel our car show in October and will be moving our Men on Fire event from August to next February, assuming things are back to normal by then,” said Susan Naylor, SPCA public relations director.
“We will have lost about $50,000 in donations from fundraisers.”
On a bright note, the SPCA has seen donations spike for its Community Pet Project, which helps people keep pets in their home by providing food, vaccines or medical care when the owners cannot afford it.
“When COVID-19 hit, we realized lots of people were going lose income and that could potentially cause them to surrender their pets,” said Naylor.
“As much as our mission is to help homeless pets, we also realized the importance of keeping pets that are already loved in their homes. That’s the idea behind the Community Pet Project.”
A matching grant from an individual helped the SPCA turn $2,500 into $5,000 for the Community Pet Project, but additional funds are needed, as are donations to help for the upkeep of the animals at the SPCA’s Adoption Center. Like the Humane Society, the SPCA is a no-kill shelter.
“In addition to money to fund this project as well as help the animals in our adoption center, we can always use food donations,” said Naylor.
“No gift is too small.”
Ditto for Lopez at the Humane Society.
“We welcome all forms of donations,” said Lopez. “We desperately need help from the community.”
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS