EAST MONTPELIER — Just in time for its holiday fund drive, Central Vermont Humane Society has received a $15,000 matching pledge from three donors.

Every donation made by Saturday, Dec. 22, to the holiday fund drive will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $15,000, said Laurie Garrison, executive director of the animal shelter.

The shelter’s budget this year is $803,000 to care for more than 1,000 animals a year, but it is often hard-pressed to raise sufficient funds to meet its needs.

“The need is greater than ever to help the homeless animals at Central Vermont Humane Society,” Garrison said. “Because our priority is to save local animals, we take in a lot of animals who need medical treatment, dental care and behavioral training.”

“Spay and neuter costs have risen along with other animal care costs. Adoption fees alone do not cover all of these expenses; in fact, there is a gap of about $670 dollars, on average, for every animal we take in,” she added.

To help bridge that gap, Garrison said CVHS “is thrilled to announce that three generous donors have created a Save the Animals Challenge of $15,000. Every dollar donated will have double the impact to save twice as many animal lives.”

The shelter is also appealing for supporters to attend its annual Holiday with the Animals at the East Montpelier center on Route 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Supporters are asked to bring donations of canned pet food and spend time visiting with adoptable animals. The family-friendly holiday party will feature snacks, fun crafts and there will be a chance to meet to Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Supporters can join the shelter’s Sponsor a Pet program. People with animal-lovers on their gift list can sponsor an animal in that person’s name. Participants will receive a gift certificate that can be shared with that special someone.

There will also be a holiday raffle with the chance to win exciting prizes while helping homeless animals, with 100 percent of proceeds from ticket sales used to provide vital services at the shelter.

The shelter’s holiday appeal of $90,000 is the third major fund drive of the year which began in November and will extend through the end of January.

Garrison noted last year’s strong fund drive may have been driven by charitable donations ahead of changes to the tax code that make it harder to deduct donations.

The annual Walk for Animals in June exceeded the budget target of $63,000 by raising $80,000 this year.

Similarly, Fur Fest, a cocktail reception with silent and live auctions at the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre in October, exceeded its budget target of $30,000, raising $38,000.

The shelter raises other funds from adoption fees of shelter animals.

For information on the holiday fund drive, visit to www.centralvermonthumane.org.

For more information about giving opportunities, call Garrison at 476-3811, ext. 102 or email Laurie@centralvermonthumane.org.

stephen.mills

@timesargus.com

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