Members of the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter Board of Directors and Staff, from left: Rita Altman, vice president; Michael Frey, board member; Lindsey Kellogg, Friends staff; Evelyn Grieve, president; Jill Westeyn, secretary; Kelsey DeWispelaere, board member; and not pictured is Nancy Abbott, board member.
Photo by Steve Hibbard.
About 250 people came out to the 13th Annual Wine, Whiskers & Wags event held at the Paradise Spring Winery in Clifton on Sunday, May 19, 2019. Sitting outdoors in 90-degree temps, people brought their dogs and sipped wine while contributing to the Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. The event included a silent auction, dog training demos, and “Ask the Trainer Questions.” Last year, the Friends gave $275,000 to the municipal shelter – money from donors and from events like this.
According to Evelyn Grieve, President of the Friends: “For 13 years we’ve been working with the shelter and raising funds to help pets that come into the shelter for medical, dental, and parasite prevention. The shelter takes in a number of pets and they can’t always pay for the medical, so our biggest thing that we started for was to pay for medical treatments. We branched out to the dental and parasite prevention so every pet that comes in – dogs, cats and rabbits – they all get inoculated for fleas, ticks and heartworms.”
She continued: “We give them collars, tags and leashes. We have behavioral programs. We also buy shelter support items like toys and food and cat scratching toys. What we’re hoping to accomplish is to have people know that there are great pets at the shelter. Our motto is ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop.’”
Lindsey Kellogg, Communications and Administration Specialist, added: “We have several programs from medical to parasite prevention to TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return Program). Our goal is to get all of the animals at the shelter adopted. But with the TNR program, we’re aiming to cut down on the population in the cat community. We try to encourage people to understand where pets come from.”
Grieve added: “Because we have to take in every pet, our live release rate is 95 percent and no pet gets euthanized for space. We’ve had pets in the shelter for up to 18-plus months. We either have them go out to fosters; we have sent them to rescue partners; or they’ve gone to other shelters. So, we make sure every pet who has the ability to be adopted is adopted. That’s the shelter’s biggest goal.”