Helping out those who help pets

riley-mackenzie-fundBIG RAPIDS — There are many ways a pet can end up displaced or at risk, and one local non-profit organization continues to help these animals live a happy life.

Since its inception in 2009, the Riley MacKenzie Fund has raised more than $150,000 and has supported the community by preventing cruelty to animals and providing foster homes to formerly abused or displaced pets.

The need for those services continues, said Barb Graham a member of the Riley MacKenzie Fund’s board of directors.

“There still is a great need, particularly in this economy,” Graham said. “Many people struggle to feed their pets, while others have to give them up because they move to place that does not allow pets.”

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 3, the Riley MacKenzie Fund will host its annual “Hands Helping Paws” event at Crankers Brewery. The costs is $15 which includes heavy hors d’oeuvres.

“I think people will have plenty to enjoy themselves with at our event on Monday,” Graham said.

The event will feature a silent auction with more than 70 items to bid on. Some of those items include bags purses, jewelry and hand woven baskets.

“We also have some beautiful pottery,” Graham said. “There are some quilts and unique knit baskets that people have donated to the auction.”

People can view the items up for bid on the organization’s Facebook page, where people can bid early on items, Graham added.

“We have already received some bids on some items,” Graham said. “It is always exciting to see a build up of interest in the auction.”

The proceeds of the event are used to provide veterinary care, food, and temporary fostering and provide funds to have animals spayed or neutered.

“We provide foster homes to animals who have been surrendered because of domestic violence situations,” Graham said. “A pet in a domestic violence situation needs to be removed from the home.”

The organization has volunteers that foster animals until they find them a permanent home. Graham has fostered 202 dogs and never has regretted helping an animal out.

“We are very passionate about these animals,” Graham said. “We bring the dogs out and visit many schools to teach children the importance of proper pet care. We encourage spaying and neutering pets. We do a lot of education with the kids.”

The organization focuses on charitable purposes and provides funds for a pet’s needs in a foster home. They also offer assistance food for pets whose families are struggling to feed them.

“We find it easier to assist with food than to find the animal a new home,” Graham said. “Some people do not understand a pet also is a family member. People ask me, ‘Why not ask the family to give the animal up?’ It’s easier to help the family. Besides, would I ask you to give up your children or grandmother?”

People who know of an animal who needs assistance can apply for help at rileymackenziefund.org.

avatar

Posted by Lonnie Allen

Lonnie is the Pioneer's city/county reporter. He also coordinates the Gardens and Growers page. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8328 or by e-mail at lallen@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply