Community, Here to Help, Springfield

Springfield vet fundraising for furry friends

Wilvet South is raising money for Luvable Dog Rescue and Cat Rescue & Adoption Network with a fa-boo-lous fundraiser Oct. 9.

For just a $10 cover charge, you can spend this coming Monday night enjoying live music and community camaraderie at a fundraiser for two nonprofits which specialize in saving, sheltering, and re-homing animals.

Wilvet South (Wilvet), a 24-hour urgent care for animals in Springfield, is hosting a Halloween-inspired fundraiser Oct. 9 from 6-9 p.m. at The Side Bar in Eugene to raise funds for Luvable Dog Rescue (Luvable) and Cat Rescue & Adoption Network (CRAN).

Teeter is a 5-year-old terrier chihuahua mix. He is a Luvable dog who is described as sweet and gentle.

The inspiration for the Halloween-themed event came from Greenhill Humane Society (Greenhill)’s Christmas fundraiser. Veterinary nurse Brooke Taliaferro said, “Greenhill’s wonderful, and we love them! But I feel like a lot of times they tend to get more funding than the smaller, local shelters.”

“We decided to do, for the smaller local shelters, a similar thing, so we are taking donations for them right now,” Taliaferro said. “We’re setting up little Halloween decorations inside the clinic so that people can drop it off to trick or treat, and we’ll give them a little bag of candy if they bring in donations.”

As far as the tunes go, Stone Biscuit will be performing. Their music has been described as “psycho-cosmic country crunch,” which vocalist and guitarist Stephan Andresen said TKTK.

The event will also feature a costume contest and raffle. The winners of the costume contest and the raffle will each receive a prize basket filled with animal goodies donated by local businesses.

If any companies are interested in adding a prize to either basket, veterinary nurse Brooke Taliaferro said they are “more than welcome” to call Wilvet at 541-838-0577. Wilvet will be accepting donations until the day before the event, Oct. 8.

Wilvet South

Taliaferro’s favorite quote is by author Veronica Roth, and she connects it to her work with animals. Roth said, “I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

“(Wilvet’s) goal is to be a clinic that stands up for animals and people, their employees, and they really want to have a good culture and environment for everybody who walks through the door,” Taliaferro said. “I really liked that they’ve given me that freedom and that voice to be able to stand up for animals – especially because animals, even more so than people, don’t have a voice.”

CRAN cat Elton John loves to play all day.

She said owners can’t always tell when their pet is sick or injured, and Wilvet staff are able to advocate for the animals’ needs. Wilvet also occasionally works with local police officers, which is a unique way for veterinary nurses to speak up for animals and save lives. 

“(Officers will) bring in animals that have been abused or injured, and we’re able to save them as well as give (the officers) evidence and proof that (the animals) shouldn’t be in that situation,” Taliaferro said.

Wilvet staff hope the fundraiser will encourage a sense of togetherness among community members.

“We’re still so new in the community. We’ll have officially been here for a year in November, so we still just want people to know that we’re here,” Taliaferro said. “We really just want to continue making a difference for everybody in the community.”

According to Taliaferro, it’s not common for a clinic to allow its employees to fundraise for shelters since the clinic would not be profitting.

“(Supporting local shelters) is something that makes a difference in our community, and that’s something that Wilvet really cares about,” Taliaferro said. “I really like working here because of that.”

Both Luvable and CRAN consistently bring animals to Wilvet for medical assistance, which led Wilvet to choose these two nonprofits as the beneficiaries of the fundraiser.

“A lot of times, owners will need to surrender (their pets) or different situations will pop up, and luckily the shelters are there to assist them and maybe take over depending on the situation,”

Taliaferro said. “They’re very helpful for saving lives, so we wanted to give back to them as well.”

Luvable Dog Rescue

Luvable began in 1999 when founder and owner Liesl Wildhardt started fostering dogs. She said this gradually grew into creating a “real organization” which was started and remains on her 55-acre property in south Eugene.

The organization is dedicated to re-homing dogs who were rescued from high-kill shelters where they had low odds of being adopted, and about two years ago, Luvable expanded to also take care of adoptable cats. Luvable also has a small farm sanctuary which has goats, pigs, and chickens who are permanent residents on the property.

1-year-old Yorkie mix Gryffynn, a Luvable dog, has hydrocephalus. 

Wildhardt said she’s really grateful for all community support.

“We really appreciate (Wilvet) doing this because finding the time to try and do things like this ourselves is almost impossible,” Wildhardt said. “It’s just so hard to find the time on top of taking care of all the animals, so I really appreciate their willingness to help with all of that.”

Cat Rescue & Adoption Network

CRAN, which was called West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue until August 2017, began finding homes for cats in 2006. Over the last 17 years, CRAN has saved over 4,000 cats, placing them in loving homes through a foster home system.

4-month-old Mimi, a CRAN kitten, is waiting for life-saving surgery for pectus excavator.

Board president Luanne Koch has been working with CRAN for over 13 years, and she echoed Wildhardt, saying, “we really appreciate the kindness of the community that we live in.” CRAN is not a shelter, so it does not have any form of funding besides community support and the occasional grant funding.

“Cat Rescue has become one of the most meaningful pieces of what I do with my life,” Koch said.

Ways to Help

For any animal lover who prefers to drop off donations rather than write a check or attend the fundraiser, some donation items that Luvable is always accepting are: washable towels and blankets, toys and treats for both dogs and cats, tennis balls, collars, leashes, harnesses, and Taste of the Wild’s salmon dog kibble.

Luvable’s wish list also includes medium or large foam beds for Luvable’s three geriatric pitbulls (12-year-old Ivy, about 13-year-old Buddha, and about 12-year-old Hank) and one Maltese mix (about 12-year-old Charlie). All four of these senior citizens have arthritis, and Wildhardt said these more supportive beds would be really beneficial to have before winter begins.

CRAN is looking for: cat beds, hard cat carriers, yummy food for sick and recovering cats (Weruva or Tiki Cat), Churu treats, Royal Canin Mother and Babycat loaf in sauce wet food, cardboard cat scratchers, Friskies canned cat food, and Iams (purple bag) kitten dry food.

Koch also mentioned CRAN would love if people donated their time if they’re unable to donate money or tangible goods.

“We can always use volunteer hands,” Koch said. “In order for us to help a cat whose owner has died, or a mama cat and her kittens who were found under a bridge, or two cats belonging to an elderly gentleman who is now in memory care, and his family is not in a position to take care of his cats, we need foster homes. For our foster homes, we are able to provide the supplies that they need to take care of the cats that are coming into our care, but without a foster home, we can’t take some (cats).”



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