BROWNWOOD, Texas - Brownwood's Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter serves Brown County by providing a home for abandoned animals, and now it's the community's turn to give back to the center.
As many as 300 people are expected to attend the 8th annual "Canines, Cats and Cabernet", the shelter's biggest fundraiser. It is held at the Depot Center Friday night from 6 p.m. to midnight. People can enjoy an evening filled with auctions, wine and food vendors for a ticket price of $50, and every penny goes to the shelter.
Event coordinator, Leona Cleveland, said there is a great need for funds.
"It costs approximately $500 a day to operate the shelter. That's including feeding the dogs, caring for the dogs, vaccinations...our shelter relies on the donations of the public to keep our doors open."
"There's just so many litters born that no one wants so they're all brought to the shelter," said Freda Day, Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter administrative manager. "We currently have 100 cats and dogs altogether, and that's probably only half of what we have at times."
Day said she usually sees an increase of animals at the shelter around this season. While she's grateful for the yearly $42,000 stipend the city gives to the shelter, she said it's not enough money, which is why this event is essential.
"It's an important part of our entire budget at this point. We really depend on the community. We have some really supportive people around here that we just count on year by year."
Cleveland said she got the "Canines, Cats and Cabernet" idea while drinking wine with a friend. "I thought, 'I really love wine and I really love dogs so how can I combine the two to make a fundraiser?'"
She said this particular fundraiser has come a long way.
"The very first year we had about 30 people...last year we had close to 250 people come through, and we raised about $39,000 for the shelter."
Both Cleveland and Day said they are grateful for those who help keep the shelter operating.