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FurrBall a roaring success

Dessin Animal Shelter’s FurrBall co-chairs Dara Coslett Granza, left, and Tammy Hardler welcomed 262 supporters to the shelter’s annual fundraiser.
Photos by Tammy Compton

By Tammy Compton
March 6, 2013

HAWLEY, PA — It’s been a banner year so far for the Dessin Animal Shelter as it celebrates its 45th anniversary and fifth FurrBall. This annual fundraising event, held on Saturday at the Inn at Woodloch Pines, was attended by 262 supporters—the biggest turnout ever according to organizers.

“We’ve had more sponsors than we’ve ever had in the past,” said Dessin’s executive director Dara Coslett Granza. In all, 45 raffle baskets were donated by 135 contributors, plus approximately $6,000 worth of items, including a kayak and diamond pendent that were given for the a auction.

“I really want to express our gratitude to all our donors and sponsors this year,” said Tammy Hardler, president of the board of directors. “I just can’t express how important it is to us for all of the people to give like they do…. That is our main lifeline, our donations. If we don’t have them, the shelter will not exist.

“You see it every day, different shelters, maybe towards western Pennsylvania, where they’re going out of business because they can’t sustain…. We’re fortunate. We’ve had tough times in the past, and this population in Wayne County seems to be able to keep us going. And it’s just amazing. It’s like I said, ‘This is a wonderful place to live, because when you have a need, these people just step up,’” Hardler said.

Money raised during the annual event goes to capital expenses, such as renovating the shelter’s outdoor kennels, repaving the parking lot, purchasing a new van and helping to offset veterinary bills in animal abuse cases.

Coslett Granza pointed to a number of animal cruelty and hoarding cases reported in the area, including the rescue of 61 beagles in September, an emaciated dog found abandoned in a Pike County home that is now recovering in foster care, and an ongoing case involving a puppy dragged behind a moving vehicle for more than a mile.

It’s hard to understand why anyone would harm such a defenseless animal. “They love you unconditionally. They almost sense your mood,” Coslett Granza said. She told how the other day, she was playing with a brindle pitbull that’s up for adoption. “She was wagging her tail and licking me and giving me her toy. They give so willingly, and I hope they forget, because some have been through so much,” she said.

In 2012, Dessin adopted out 700 animals, the most in the shelter’s history. “We’re a small, rural shelter,” Coslett Granza said. “To give 700 animals new, forever homes gives me goose bumps.”