‘Ruffin it’ in second year

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lunenburg County Animal Control Officer Ray Elliott spent Thanksgiving night inside of a kennel at the Lunenburg County Animal Shelter for the second consecutive year to raise funds for the shelter and draw awareness to the importance of animal care.

Elliott said as of Monday, the fundraising event had met approximately $12,000 of its initial goal of $15,000.

He noted that there were still pledges the shelter was waiting on that could help the shelter meet its goals.

He said, like last year, he stayed at the kennel from 6 p.m. Thanksgiving night until 6 a.m. the following morning.

Though he stayed in the kennel by himself, Elliott said he was not alone through the whole event.

“I had some visitors that brought donations as well,” Elliott said.

He jokingly took the challenge to wear a dog costume after someone promised to pledge funds for the shelter if he wore the costume.

According to a previous report by The Dispatch, the fundraiser began last year as a way to offer assistance with spaying and neutering pets for low-income families in the county through a partnership with the Southside Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and local veterinarians.

“It’s not about getting recognition for me personally, it’s about the importance of spaying and neutering,” Elliott said.

He said without these measures, stray dogs or cats will often overpopulate. Elliott said it’s his and the others’ at the Lunenburg County Animal Control Office to pick up the animals and place them in the shelters. If there are too many animals, this creates strain at the shelter.

“It benefits us from (having) more animal intake each year,” Elliott said.

As the funds continue to come in, Elliott said he wanted to thank members of the community for donating to the fundraiser, and in addition thank volunteers throughout the year who take care of the animals, who donate toys, treats and foods and even wash linen used by the animals.