Local animal lovers gathered for some food, drink and fundraising for the Long Beach Animal Shelter last Sunday.
“We’re all animals lovers,” said Kathy Canape, who hosted the invitation-only event at her West Penn Street home. “We want them to be successful.”
Canape refers to Rescue Ink Inc., the non-profit animal rescue organization that runs the animal shelter that reopened at 770 Park Pl. in November. The organization will depend in part on such fundraisers after they entered a one-year contract with the City of Long Beach to run its shelter on a meager $15,000 annual stipend, which the City Council approved last June.
Of the Rescue Ink Inc. team, co-founders Johnny Orlandini (a.k.a. “Jonny O”), Joseph Panzarella (a.k.a. Joe Panz) and “Big Ant” hobnobbed and posed for photos with attendants who helped them raise $2,500.
Event organizers Canape, Barbara Mosca and Barbara Masters said they ran a 50/50 and raffled off two donated gift certificates, one to a local chiropractor and the other for a massage therapist. They said attendance was outstanding.
“50 invitations went out and 48 RSVP’d,” said Masters, who noted that some others asked to join the party.
Long Beach resident Debra Whitefield, who described she and her husband as animal lovers, happily attended the weekend event to offer support. “The idea in general is a fabulous cause,” she said.
Brian Biller, an animal control officer in Long Beach for nine years, called the animal shelter 100 percent better under Rescue Ink after it was closed more than six years ago, as all operations transferred to the Freeport Animal Shelter. “There are more donations coming in than I ever thought,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
City Council members Fran Adelson, Len Torres and Scott Mandel were also in attendance.
“It is a wonderful non-profit organization,” said Torres, who voted last summer in favor of reopening the shelter with Rescue Ink at the helm.
Adelson recently visited the newly opened shelter and said she was pleased to see many volunteers there, including two who stopped by to walk the dogs, as well as two professional trainers who work with the animals as part of Rescue Ink’s efforts to domesticate the animals before they are adopted. “We have a lot of hope for Rescue Ink,” Adelson said.
Orlandini, who lives in Long Beach, said he was “happy to know that Long Beach appreciates that we re-opened the shelter.”
He noted that as part of the support he’s seen from the community, the Long Beach Police Benevolent Association recently donated five dog houses to the shelter.
Sunday's fundraiser came after Rescue Ink gave an update and presentation on the shelter at the Long Beach Library.