Beau cleans up pretty nice. In fact, the three-year-old was looking pretty dapper and was all smiles as he meandered through a crowd of about 200 people at Thunderbird Show Park this weekend.
It’s not what one would have ever expected less than a month ago, when he was found caked in mud, dangerously skinny, and wandering around aimlessly in the Glen Valley area looking for food and shelter.
Beau is an Anatolian shepherd mix, referred to as a “gentle giant, very laid back, and extremely smart.” And he was a huge hit, garnering countless hugs and pats at the Langley Animal Protection Society’s (LAPS’) annual gala Saturday night.
The event, this year, was an outdoor summer soiree under tents at the internationally-acclaimed equestrian centre. The new gala venue allowed Beau and about a dozen other dogs and cats in care (past and present) to attend and visit with the congregation of animal lovers and supporters who turned out to raise in excess of $85,000 for LAPS.
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Beau, like most of the other animals – including a litter of six kittens – are up for adoption, explained executive director Sarah Jones.
“He is up for adoption so if anyone is interested please put in an applications, we’d love to see him go to a great home,” she said, showing off the large dog to the audience while explaining that the shelter is currently at capacity with 20 larger dogs urgently needing homes.
Telling stories of several other animals in need of care and forever homes, Jones said: “This is why tonight is so important – the need is real!”
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She went on to note that the pandemic, natural disasters, and soaring inflation are hitting this and other animal welfare organizations across the country hard.
“We are facing incredible challenges right now,” Jones said. “LAPS is helping, but there is more need than we can manage. Donations are down, reducing our capacity to expand services, and adoption interest (particularly for our big dogs) has been significantly slowed. This means we can’t accept more dogs until the dogs in the shelter are adopted.”
Explaining the near crisis level, she introduced Lenny – another large dog that made a brief appearance at the gala. He’s been waiting 177 days, and is the shelter’s longest resident.
“Funds we make from events like the gala ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our community,” Jones said, noting donations are still coming in and she’s hopeful they can still surpass their $100,000 goal.
“My heart swells…,” she said after the event, thanking guests and sponsors alike. “Thank you for your commitment to the animals in Langley.”
“We think everyone had a great time and it was amazing to see the community come together to support LAPS and the animals in Langley,” Jones concluded, hinting that LAPS is already working on a first-ever golf tournament, and after hosting their first in-person event in two years, they will be reviewing the timing and location of the future galas in the next few months.
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