Each year, Raise the Woof features well-known comedians to entertain audiences. photo submitted

Each year, Raise the Woof features well-known comedians to entertain audiences. photo submitted

Raise the Woof fundraising gala sells record number of seats

Out of control stray cat and kitten population in Central Alberta ‘disheartening’

The Central Alberta Humane Society’s (CAHS) annual fundraising gala, Raise the Woof, has sold a record number of seats this year.

Tara Hellewell, the Humane Society’s executive director, said the goal was to sell 500 seats, but they have sold 512. This will bring in about $35,000 to $45,000 to the Red Deer-based animal shelter.

In its sixth year, Raise the Woof is a night of comedy supporting shelter animals searching for their fur-ever home. It takes place Nov. 30th.

“Everyone has a great time,” Hellewell said. “Lots of laughter and great support for the event. We have three amazing comedians coming out of the United States. They are usually award-winning comedians, so it’s going to be awesome.”

The animal shelter holds the event during the holiday party season each year, which helps increase the number of groups and individuals who attend.

“It has really helped us because now a lot of corporate groups will come and they will have their Christmas party there and have a party with their work.”

All the money raised goes toward veterinary care for the shelter animals.

A major issue the shelter has been facing this year, Hellewell said, is the out-of-control population of stray cats and number of kittens being born.

“We have a waiting list right now in excess of 300 cats waiting to come in,” she said.

“There have just been so many this year. Despite all of the word that we have spread about spaying and neutering, and then all of the spay and neutering that we do ourselves, we’re just not making a dent.”

She said the Prevent Another Litter Subsidy – Low Income Spay Neuter Service Program (PALS) the shelter started last April helps, but not enough to make a significant dent in the growing population.

The shelter has already spayed and neutered about 60 owned cats through PALS and hopes to do 200 in a year.

“But still, people are not spaying and neutering,” she said. “It’s really disheartening because we just don’t seem to be getting ahead of the curve.”

The shelter is also looking for donations for Christmas.

“It’s the fundraising time of the year for us,” she said. “On Christmas Day, the animals all get a brand new toy and they all get special treats.”

The Central Alberta Humane Society is always looking for donations or volunteers to come in and walk dogs and help foster kittens and cats, she added.