With the winter season now in full swing as the holidays approach, residents of Gloucester Township will start or continue to holiday shop for friends and family, while it is hoped they will help a nonprofit or charitable cause along the way.
The Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center — formerly the Camden County Animal Shelter — will host its first annual Tinsel Tails event Wednesday, Dec, 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Wedgwood Country Club in Turnersville. All proceeds benefit the animal shelter in Blackwood.
At the event, the shelter will host its first Yappy Hour, with tickets at $25 for pre-order and $30 at the door. One ticket includes two drinks, food and entry for a door prize.
According to Homeward Bound’s Executive Director Vicki Rowland, the event is a social gathering that allows community supporters of the shelter to have fun during a holiday- themed fundraiser. Meanwhile, all proceeds will go to the shelter’s facilities, operations and animals in its care.
“Winter is an especially tough time for pets facing homelessness and neglect,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center. “Homeward Bound is committed to serving Camden County’s pets and pet owners by caring for as many of these animals as possible.
“We hope [residents are] able to join us for an evening supporting these vulnerable animals, or consider making an independent donation to support the center this holiday season.”
Although the holiday season is not the time of year when the shelter receives the most pets, Rowland advises owners to take special note of their pets as the weather gets and stays cold.
“It’s a busy season all the way around for families right now, so we definitely encourage all pets to stay inside and be comfortable,” Rowland said. “We’re not in the busy season right now for intakes of stray animals, but it still happens.”
According to Director of Development Gina Guarnere, the shelter is looking to increase its fundraising efforts moving forward after lacking such events in recent months. Guarnere hopes to be able to host events such as ‘Tinsel Tails’ possibly two to four times a year.
“We are looking to really kick up our fundraising efforts to be able to take care of these animals,” Guarnere said. “We have seen a 20 percent increase in the numbers of animals we take in over the past year, ending up being around an additional 700 animals for us to care for at our building.”
This past week during Giving Tuesday, Guarnere says the shelter received around $3,200 in fundraising efforts through its online portal and various Facebook fundraisers. The shelter also welcomes donations of dog and cat food as well as bedding for animals year round.
For more information on the event or to support the shelter in another way, visit https://homewardboundnj.org/ or call (856) 401-1300.