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Animal rescue nonprofit to host fundraiser Saturday

Posted: November 1, 2013 - 12:06am

A fundraiser will be held this weekend for a recently formed animal rescue nonprofit organization that serves Southeast communities.

Bri Brint, the vice president of the Southeast Alaska Organization For Animals, says the group will be hosting a dessert and silent auction Saturday night at the Viking so they can continue their operations.

“We’ve had a few fundraisers in the past, but this is our first big one,” Brint said, saying SOFA relies solely on donations and grants for funding.

Based out of Ketchikan and Juneau, SOFA was formed in December 2012 to rescue and rehabilitate animals. The organization also provides adoption services, microchip services and low-cost vaccination and sterilization clinics.

SOFA views itself as an alternative to the Gastineau Humane Society animal shelter in Juneau, but it specifically focuses in on helping unwanted animals in outlying communities, where adoption rates are lower and not as many resources for pets are available.

“We saw a need for a lot of the outlying communities,” Brint said. “We’ve been working a lot with Kake, Angoon and Hoonah.”

Of the 50 pets SOFA has rescued so far, 37 of them were from outlying communities. The other 10 were from Juneau and three were from Ketchikan.

Brint said SOFA is a different from other organizations because it has a strict “foster care” policy. That means instead of kenneling animals that are waiting for a home, they are placed in a temporary home with one of eight foster families they have in their network.

Most of the animals SOFA cares for are cats and dogs, but they also get calls about guinea pigs, rats, iguanas, snakes and other reptiles. Brint said they just recently rescued five Macaws after its owner died.

“They were in a pretty bad situation,” she said, adding the family was unaware he owned the birds and did not know what to do with them.

SOFA got the birds up to a healthy weight and then transported them to a sanctuary in Seattle, Brint said.

Brint said they hope to raise money to continue operating and fulfilling their goals. One such goal is to open an office here in Juneau. Another is to provide more veterinarian care to outlying communities. Brint said they want to hold vaccine clinics soon in Hoonah and Kake.

“We’re trying to bring the veterinary side of things to the communities instead of them having to come here and fly their pets here,” she said.

The fundraiser on Saturday will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It is family-friendly since they rented out the second floor of the Viking for the event, Brint said.

“Minors are allowed with their guardian and are ensured a safe evening,” she said.

She added, “There will be a DJ, music, pool and darts as well as lots of yummy baked goods and some awesome, local donations from the businesses in Juneau.”

For more information about SOFA, visit www.aksofa.org.

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