If there was a record to be had, then last Wednesday may have set the bar for the ASTRO Foundation.
For the second consecutive year the non-profit organization partnered with Bordona’s Furniture and KAT Country during its annual ‘10 Days of Good Deeds’ event. While the March 13 pet adoption was scheduled to run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the no-kill pet rescue found itself left with just two of nine dogs for adoption less than 90 minutes after the event began. ASTRO is the Animal Shelter To Riverbank and Oakdale.
“They’ve selected ASTRO the past two years,” ASTRO Foundation Director Scott Hicks said of being considered a ‘good deed’ candidate. “We’ve been fortunate enough to be one of those 10.”
While the director noted the fact that six of the nine dogs they had available for adoption that day were puppies didn’t hurt, that isn’t always the case.
“When we have a cute litter of puppies we can have a waiting line,” he said, noting that a verbal prescreen for adopted pets is given when meeting the interested adoptee. “It’s right person, right time.”
A total of close to $3400 was raised during the four hour pop up event. An increase from last year’s $2500. Proceeds from the event will be used toward other pets seeking adoption, as well as toward fundraising efforts for the shelter project the non-profit has taken on.
According to Hicks, land was purchased on Wakefield Court in April of last year, to house a future shelter to be built by the volunteer organization.
“Our next step this year is to put the Capital Fundraising Committee together,” he said. “My hope is that within a couple of years we’ll have the funds together to break ground on that shelter.”
A realist with not only the timeline, but the cost, Hicks recognizes building of the shelter is no small feat and hopes that as they move forward they will be able to partner with many local businesses to see it through fruition.
“We’re looking at 1.5 to 2 million to build the shelter we want to build,” he said. “Once we get the shelter open the idea is to run it primarily with volunteers.”
Currently the ASTRO Foundation relies on foster families to help with pets. According to Hicks there are four to five regular adult volunteers, three to four student volunteers and four to six consistent event volunteers.
Two programs the group is currently working on are the MVP (Matching Vets and Pets) Program as well as the PAW it forward fundraising efforts.
MVP teams ASTRO up with AVF (American Veterans First) to help partner veterans suffering post war trauma with companion pets. PAW it Forward is a link through the ASTRO Foundation website where individuals can sign up to make recurring donations to the no kill shelter. Amounts can be as low as $5 a week, the cost of a cup of coffee, as Hicks likes to put it.
“What we’re trying to do is establish a good base for recurring donations,” he said, noting that the recurring income will serve the foundation well, not only financially but as a base when working with banks for funding in the future.
For additional information on the ASTRO Foundation and ways to support the projects, visit www.astrofoundation.org.