Event to raise funds for animal shelter emergencies

The Homer Animal Shelter’s 93 percent “re-homing” rate — returning animals to their owners or finding them new homes — is impressive. However, that doesn’t stop emergency medical situations from occurring. 

Like the one that occurred with Teaser, a sweet-natured brown tabby that was left at the shelter by his owner.

During an evaluation of Teaser by Sherry Bess, shelter director, and her crew of volunteers, it was noted that Teaser had breathing problems. A trip to the vet
indicated the cause was a diaphragmatic ulcer.

“He’s one of those cats we all sort of fell in love with, but we’re looking at surgery or maintenance through meds for the rest of his life,” said shelter volunteer Brian George Smith. 

The shelter deals with emergency medical situations about once a month. It might be something like Teaser’s condition. Or a wandering animal injured when a vehicle couldn’t stop fast enough. Or the damage done when the steely jaws of a trap clamp around a homeless dog’s ankles. 

“We do a little extra sometimes to help an animal and we’re always surprised at how much it costs,” said Bess. “The vets do the best they can, but things cost and sometimes, before you know it, we’ve got a pretty high bill.”

To boost the shelter’s emergency medical fund, a two-for-one screening of “Puffin Bay” and “Roosevelt Tree,” two films made by Smith, a local filmmaker, will be shown at the Homer Theatre at 7 p.m. March 28. Admission is $8, with all proceeds benefiting the Homer Animal Shelter’s emergency medical fund. 

“Puffin Bay” features the all-Homer cast of Dick Sanders, Jen Castellani, Lance Petersen, Ben Tillotson, Zoe Story and introduces Delilah Harris. The film was done entirely in and around Homer.

“Roosevelt Tree” began as a feature film about an old man and young girl’s quest to save trees. However, the death of the film’s star, Jerry Harper, turned the project into a Rasmuson Foundation grant-supported docu-drama that pays tribute to Harper. Total running time of the two films is two hours, 15 minutes.

“The Homer Theatre has been wonderful about showing local stuff and Colleen (Carroll) and Jamie (Sutton) are definitely behind community events, nonprofits and things that matter,” said Smith, referring to the theater’s manager and owner.

Bess is hoping the event will raise awareness about the shelter, animals available for adoption and the need for responsible pet care. 

“We are overloaded with dogs, some very, very nice dogs,” said Bess of the shelter’s current residents. “And every winter we have a lot of cats. They get in trouble with the weather and show up on people’s doorsteps.” 

She noted one neighborhood near Pioneer Avenue and Kachemak Way where someone is trapping unattended animals and bringing them to the shelter.

“We have had six cats come in the last two months and no one has been in here looking for them,” said Bess. 

“There was one that was too scared or truly feral and we had to euthanize it because we couldn’t handle it, but we have five and not one person has come in looking for them.”

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.

‘Puffin Bay, ’ ‘Roosevelt Tree’

WHAT: To raise funds for emergency medical situations at the Homer Animal Shelter

WHEN: 7 p.m., March 28

Where: Homer Theatre

Cost: $8 with all proceeds benefiting the shelter’s emergency medical fund

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