February 2019 Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Submitted After an arduous two-year process, the Humane Society for Boone County (HSforBC) officially opened its doors to its 7,000-sq. ft. shelter in January. The new HSforBC Animal Shelter is located at 5366 S. Indianapolis Rd. between State Road 267 and Whitestown Parkway. Now that the move-in phase is complete, the real work at the shelter begins, and preparations for the annual “Fur Ball: A Mardi Gras Pawty to Change Their World” are well underway. HSforBC’s “Fur Ball: A Mardi Gras Pawty to Change Their World” will be held Saturday, February 16 at The Cardinal Room at the Golf Club of Indiana. The event raises awareness and funds that are crucial to its operating budget and to its volunteer board and staff. HSforBC provides food, healthcare, vaccinations and spay and neuter services for all animals in its care. It is 100 percent volunteer operated and receives no tax dollars. In addition to its need of volunteers to help work at the shelter and to foster animals, there is a need for donations of requested items and monetary donations that will go toward the care of the animals and day-to-day operations of the shelter. “Some people may call us cheap. I call us frugal” said Susan Austin, director of animal welfare at HSforBC. “I say that because for every penny that we don’t have to pay out on an overhead administrative item, we get to spend on the animals, or we’re saving for something that will go to help the animals.” Austin shared that some of HSforBC’s projects were put on hold, so the organization could complete the necessary renovations on the shelter and focus on moving in. “We still have some projects that we want to get done at the shelter. We want another play yard for dogs, so we can exercise more of them at once, and we need some additional things for the catteries,” Austin shared. “We continue to raise funds and save by making sure that we’re not spending money that we don’t need to. We have a strong vision of where we want to go. We also know how to stop and take advantage of opportunities without impacting our core mission, and that is a huge benefit of being such a working group.” For those who have not attended HSforBC’s “Fur Ball: A Mardi Gras Pawty to Change Their World,” Austin would like to emphasize that this is not a typical gala or evening fundraiser. “We didn’t want a gala where people have to spend money on attire but rather they come to a really fun event, which is why we chose the Mardi Gras theme. People can come to our event dressed comfortably in jeans and enjoy some comfort food. With the purchase of a ticket, they will get admission to the best Mardi Gras party in Boone County and enjoy a decent meal while having fun and helping the animals. Non-alcoholic beverages are included in the ticket, and we will have a cash bar available.” The evening’s program will include a brief presentation on the volunteer/foster experience with guest speakers who will share the joys and realities of fostering animals. “Our ‘Kitten Crew’ will perform a skit while bringing awareness to ‘Kitten Season,’ and our guests will enjoy a lively auction with Boone County’s own Steve Cross – no Sotheby’s-type live auction here,” Austin expressed. “We stuff The Cardinal Room with fun and cool silent auction items such as in-home wine tastings and other popular items.” Austin concluded, “We want our guests to help us celebrate how far we’ve come and educate people about what we do and where their donations go.” Tickets may be purchased by phone at 877-HSforBC or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $50 per person and $475 for a table of 10. All proceeds go toward helping the animals.