LOUISVILLE, KY (February 4, 2011) – Monday, February 14, is the last day to purchase tickets for the annual FurBall Awards for Excellence hosted by Pet Groups United! The Mardi Gras-themed event will be held on Saturday, February 19, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event features an award ceremony honoring the area’s two- and four-legged heroes who have gone above and beyond to help animals and people. The evening also includes dinner, music, dancing, and raffle prizes, including art and baskets with a variety of themes such as: dog-gone dog crazy, life’s little luxuries, cocoa nuts, booze bonanza, beachy blowout, U of L Card coma and horsey heaven.
Tickets are $65 and include dinner and dancing. Tickets are only available on-line at www.petgroupsunited.com. Proceeds raised during the event go to support local animal rescues and shelters.
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to meet some of this year’s stand-out award winners that include: Dolly Bosco, a three-legged pit bull therapy dog; pilot Mike Krizansky, an AIRBORNE warrior with the Pilots and Paws transport; and Molly Malone, a partially blind and chronically ill senior girl who saved her family from a house fire. A complete list of bios follows.
Pet Groups United (PGU) was formed through a partnership of local animal rescue and adoption agencies. Their mission is to provide leadership, educational opportunities and financial support to member groups for the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative programs for the well-being of animals. For more details on PGU, the awards, and the 2011 FurBall go to www.petgroupsunited.com.
(Listed in order of presentation)
Sponsored by Feeders Supply
Individual who works for compensation in the animal community and displays exceptional respect and concern for both animals and people. Examples: veterinarian, vet tech, animal welfare organization employee, animal behaviorist.
Donna Callahan’s involvement with animal welfare spans 3 decades in Anderson county Kentucky. Donna has led the charge to take this rural community just west of Lexington from the concept of animal control to actual animal rescue and welfare. Along with the founders of the local animal shelter, Donna began helping lost or stray animals to family reunions or new forever homes, eventually implementing a working spay and neuter program. Prior to 1985 the Anderson Co. Humane Society was only given a fenced area and a concrete slab as a “shelter”. Finding this unsatisfactory, Donna renovated a family barn into a shelter. Her hard work did not stop there, often with kids in tow, Donna cleaned up from the kennel to the courthouse working to make the lives of Anderson Co. residents and animals safer and happier. Donna’s efforts have garnered the honor of being the first employee of the Anderson Co. Humane Society., short on pay but big on mission with the establishment of an Adoption Center for Anderson Co. There is still work to be done; pets to be transported, schools to visit, funds to raise and bridges to build. After a short 33 years, Donna Callahan seems to be just getting started.
Sponsored by the Friends of APA
An animal that helps humans, such as an equine law enforcement animal, therapy animal, canine companion, or law enforcement search and rescue
Dolly Bosco is an educator.
She holds the esteemed Delta certification.
She is a skilled professional.
In 2010 she logged approximately 100 hours visiting classrooms neighborhood associations, nursing homes, community groups, libraries in our community.
Dolly Bosco is a three legged pit bull.
In a year that Louisville KY proposed to ban her breed, Dolly arrived at Louisville Metro Animal Service with stitches in recently amputated leg, only she knows the whole story. The dedicated staff delayed her scheduled euthanasia and used her to “foster” orphaned puppies.. She was adopted by Tami Harbolt-Bosco, who was then the LMAS Education Coordinator and began wonderful career as a canine ambassador for her breed. As a therapy dog with WAGS (Wonderful Animals Giving Support) she consoles the lost & broken and encourages kids to read. Dolly is special because she shows our community the importance of the bond between people and their pets. They are family, neighbors, good canine citizens, therapists and sometimes pit bulls. Dolly is all of the above.
Sponsored by Jeff Seidenfaden & Trooper
A person who has volunteered his/her time and been instrumental in improving and saving the lives of animals in the Kentuckiana area.
Tie for Trooper award
Tracey Miller knows how to rattle chains. Literally. Nothing motivates Tracey like a chained dog, exposed to the elements and excluded from family life.
For more than a decade Tracey has been working for the welfare of local animals in rural Kentucky. At the Scott Co. Humane, she moved over the years from shelter worker to rescue coordinator. On her own she founded SOAR “Speak Out And Rescue”: a non-profit that works to help grievously treated animals and provides rescue, fostering and re-homing when necessary. Instead of creating another shelter, Tracey created an organization that brings shelter to the animals. SOAR educates owners on alternatives to keeping their dogs on chains. SOAR Outings are door to door education campaigns conducted by volunteers, trying to change the cultural standard of dog as property to dog as family member. During the winter months Tracy logs thousands of miles on freezing country roads to helping chained dogs. These are the hardest times for dogs with no shelter. Whether it’s a dog house or getting the dog IN the house or finding a foster home, in two short years SOAR has enabled 50 dogs to live out their days in love and safety.
No Kill Louisville has taken our city by storm. It has done so by mobilizing the pet loving masses, moving the Louisville Metro Council to pass a No Kill resolution and raising money for the orthopedic surgery of a dog whose plight galvanized a community.
President and co-founder, Jessica Reid is the underlying source of the group’s success. A tragic flood at Louisville Metro Animal Services in 2009 exposed this former television producer to the plight of local shelter animals and she has not wasted a moment since. Jessica is truly inspired by the No Kill philosophy and is an inspiration to the grassroots community known as NKL’ers whose ranks have swelled to include thousands. Her dedicated efforts included many long days and nights finding resources to save animals that may otherwise been euthanized. Under her leadership, No Kill Louisville continues to expand through the Million Mutt March, a donation gift catalog and soon a Pet Food bank. On a personal level, Jessica leads once again by example by fostering cats and working to transport animals in the region to forever homes.
Sponsored by Feeders Supply
For a person who utilizes media (newspaper, radio, television, photography, internet services, etc.) and his/her influence to educate and inform the public about animal issues in the Kentuckiana area.
Paula Sparrow exemplifies the power of the media and the written word, using its clout to help those who cannot speak for themselves. Her rural upbringing, love of animals and journalist talent are indivisible in her writing career. Animal rescue throughout the Commonwealth was Paula’s subject for “Creature Comforts” a website column for Kentucky Living Magazine. This project outgrew its original one year timeline and continued in influence and popularity to become a published book of the same name in 2009. Documenting the state animal welfare efforts, Paula has brought to light everything from recycled racehorses, high kill shelters, wildlife sanctuaries and the trials of rescue volunteers. Because their work continues so does hers. Creature Comforts, now a perpetual staple, carries on its support of the rescue community and Paula remains a voice, a champion and crusader for animal welfare.
Sponsored by Louisville Tails Magazine
Individual, age 18 and under, who has volunteered his/her time and been instrumental in improving and saving animals’ lives in the Kentuckiana area.
As acting president of BARC (Ballard Animals Relief Club) Becky Spetz works hard to help animals in her community. Sacrificing Saturdays to volunteer is not usually on the teenage agenda but each weekend Becky and her friends are found walking dogs, cleaning kennels and socializing animals at a local animal shelter. Besides the kennel work she helps raise funds for much needed shelter supplies and regularly invites representatives of animal welfare groups to continue educating her high school club about rescue efforts. On a recent mission trip to help another community, Becky realized how much she embraced animal welfare. While there to help humans, she observed the feral cat population in the town. Becky used the opportunity to educate some residents about trap-neuter-release method of controlling feral populations. Becky has matured into a fine young woman and a great representative of the animal welfare and rescue community.
Sponsored by Purrr-fect Pet Bakery
A volunteer who assists in moving animals to safety and/or moving pet-related necessities during emergency situations. Examples: transport driver, transport coordinator, crisis management volunteer, etc.
Mike Krizansky is not exactly a “road” warrior. For animal rescue groups in the region and parts north, he is actually an AIRBORNE warrior with the Pilots and Paws program. In the past three years, Mike has criss-crossed the skies in his airplane to deliver 50 dogs to forever homes. Organizers arrange transports of rescue dogs from the surplus in the southern region to adoptive families in the north. Mike makes those plans a reality with love and compassion by providing the imperative link from location to location. Dedication and commitment make Mike an integral part of rescue and relocation for animals in Kentucky. How cool is it to be the Forever Home Air Taxi?
Sponsored by Metzger’s Country Store
Any animal that has shown courage and resourcefulness in protecting the life or well-being of a human or animal in a time of danger.
A family’s level of dedication to each other becomes apparent in hard times. The Malone family loves their dog senior dog Molly. She is a yellow lab, just shy of ten, partially blind and stuggling with chronic illnesses, but they love her and stand by her just the same. On November 1, 2010 Joseph Malone of Crestwood got up shortly before three AM at Molly’s insistence, assumed she needed to do her business and took her outside. Returning inside, Joseph smelled smoke and was able to evacuate his wife, children, another dog, a cat and two houseguests. Because Joseph Malone listened to his dear old dog, Molly saved her family before their entire house burnt down.
Sherry Levine’s influence in animal welfare spans 25 years and both sides of the Ohio River. It’s no accident that a generation of Kentucky Humane Society employees & volunteers are now the leaders of shelters in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. Working with Sherry Levine at KHS made a huge impact on all of them. When Sherry passed away last year, her memorial service guest list read like the registration of a regional animal welfare convention. Known for her incredible connection to the homeless souls in her care, Sherry’s real knack was matchmaking for elderly and special needs animals.
Sherry dedicated her life to the animals at Kentucky Humane Society; often taking the special ones home for 24 hour care. Sherry Levine wanted them all to have a better life and because of her work, they did.
Contact: Jackie Gulbe
Metro Animal Services
Assistant Director for Community Relations
Phone (502) 574-5525
Cell (502) 744-4411