Shades of time traveling Marty McFly and DeLorean inventor “Doc Brown” as “Back to the Future” morphed into a furry friends’ “Bark to the Future” for the 22nd annual Fur Ball on April 27.
A silver DeLorean caught the eyes of 433 guests walking into Cheyenne Mountain Resort, and a number shot selfies with the raised gull-wing doors.
By evening’s end, a record $431,000 had been raised for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region’s programs for homeless animals. It was much needed, said event organizers, because 21,291 animals were saved last year, 1,474 were in foster care, 4,264 cruelty investigations were conducted, and HSPPR had spayed and neutered 10,458 pets.
Animal lovers reached for tissues during a highlight video as Animal Law Enforcement Officer Paul Karwoski, staff and volunteers showed a horrific part of their work. Called out by sheriff’s deputies to a squalid breeding facility, they found 21 dogs. Eleven were dead of starvation; 10 were “fighting to live.” The Humane Society team worked to bring them back to health, through operations and medical procedures, and then introduced them to foster families to later be adopted. Karwoski became personal buddies with one special dog who had lost an eye from abuse. To cheers, he walked his pet down the runway as the team carried other “happy tails” survivors. On the screen: “We can overcome unspeakable odds when we support each other.”
Emceeing the Fur Ball evening and the traditional Pet Parade of adoptable dogs, kitties, bunnies and, yes, even baby chicks were Marty McFly (Matt Meister) and Jennifer Parker (Abbie Burke.)
One of the live-auction favorites was an opportunity to help build a doggie playground for shelter dogs, and three bidders responded with $2,200 each.
“Bark to the Future” presenting sponsors were GE Johnson Construction Co., Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. and Jim and Laura Johnson. Pet Parade sponsors: Animal ER Care, BKD, David Sunderland and Ralf and Tammy Rivera.
Christy and Mike Carroll were repeat event chairs, and their committee was comprised of David Amess, Allison Bird, Kimberly Boudreau, Brishen Combs, Terry and Susan Darby, Susan Fleming, Randy Harrelson, Irma Hausman, Josh Holland, Laura Johnson, Kelley Likes, Katie McDevitt, Jan McHugh-Smith, Ana Nixon, Gretchen Pressley, Tiffany Roberts, Michael Sagaert, Rich Schur, Laine Smith and Amanda Wilson.
Upcoming: Pawtoberfest 2019, beer fest and dog walk, Sept. 14, Bear Creek Park, pawtoberfest.org
Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town