By Kris Rued-Clark
MARSHFIELD – The third annual Cold Noses, Warm Hearts fundraising dinner for Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS) will be held on Friday, Sept. 26 at the Marshfield Eagles Club.
“If anybody wants to find out more about us, they should come to this dinner,” said Karen Rau, who serves as president of the MAPS board of directors. “We give a report of our progress for the year.”
The report will cover fundraising efforts to build a pet shelter in Marshfield and also detail what the MAPS volunteers are already doing, including fostering dogs and cats; conducting micro-chip clinics at Marshfield Mall; running the Share the Care program, which places cats for adoption with Clark County Humane Society; and transporting stray dogs to South Wood County Humane Society in Wisconsin Rapids.
“At the dinner we will also show our capital campaign video,” said Breanna Speth, who volunteers for MAPS.
The program will be hosted by Jeff Cannon, and the evening will include live and silent auctions and raffle baskets.
“This year was a huge movement toward an actual facility,” Speth said. “Before it was a dream. Now it is clear that this will happen. We’re three years in and closer to our goal. We’ve made lots of exciting leaps in the last few months, and we’re excited to tell everyone about the steps we’ve taken.”
Late in July, members of MAPS went before Marshfield’s City Council to request funding for the shelter.
“They could tell we are passionate about animals, but the City Administrator gave us a different perspective. We need to tell non-animal people why Marshfield needs a pet shelter,” Rau said.
The City Council meeting was a watershed moment.
“We realized not everyone is an animal lover, but this is still a project they should care about. A city this size has so much to offer. It’s not right that we don’t have an animal shelter,” Speth said.
Rau added, “When we presented to the Common Council, we gave them numbers, including the money that the city had paid just to hold the stray animals at the pet motel or the kennels.” The city paid $8,260 in 2013 and $9,562 in 2012 to cover the stray holding period.
“All that money could have been put back into the animals with vaccinations, spay/neuter, and care,” Rau said.
Rau noted that last month’s invoice for Share the Care, which MAPS pays, was $1,000, accounting for 22 stray cats that were transferred from Marshfield to the Clark County Humane Society’s shelter. The cats were vet checked, vaccinated, and fostered when needed to ensure their adoptability. In one year MAPS paid between $7,500 and $10,000 to other area shelters.
“These shelters are overburdened with our animals,” Rau said. “Almost all of the cats at Clark County have come from Marshfield. We need to have something here to take care of our own stray animals. We’re here to offer a solution for a city problem.”
Rau hopes to have an update from the city to report at the Cold Noses, Warm Hearts Dinner.
“We’re trying to get in front of organizations and groups to speak about our project and what we’re trying to accomplish,” Rau said. “We hope to get business-minded people on our board and more engaged with fundraising.”
Another upcoming fundraiser, Raising the Woof, is a bowling party on Sunday, Dec. 7 that begins at noon at Rose Bowl Lanes. Registration forms will be available at Cold Noses, Warm Hearts.
Individuals, businesses, and organizations have also conducted fundraisers for MAPS.
“We appreciate the help,” Rau said. “We just ask that anyone planning a fundraiser contact us. We like to know what’s going on, and we can help promote their fundraising events on our Facebook page.”
The Cold Noses, Warm Hearts Dinner begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26 at Marshfield Eagles Club. The dinner is sponsored by WDLB/WOSQ and Marshfield Community TV. Tickets are $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door and are available at the Eagles Club, Wildwood Animal Hospital, Castlerock Veterinary Hospital, Marshfield Veterinary Service, or online at http://www.marshfieldpetshelter.org/events.