Wags to Riches fundraises with laughs



Elayne Boosler’s philosophy is something you may not hear every day, but she proudly proclaims, “If you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.”

You may assume she is an animal lover and you would be correct. Besides being an animal rights activist, she’s also a comedian who has performed at the White House and for the Queen of England.

You can see her and other performers, like Jessie the water dog and the first running of the “ChiWeenie 500” at the 7th annual fundraiser Wags to Riches. The event is Saturday, July 30 at the home of Bob and Lissa McDowell on Hannah Road. This year’s theme is Laugh your Tails Off and features live music, a gourmet meal, a live and silent auction and of course Boosler’s comedy.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer entertainment of this quality, thanks to the sponsorship pledges by several island businesses as well as individuals from the community,” said Leslie Byron, director of the Animal Protection Society.

According to Byron, the shelter does not receive any funding from the city or county, therefore it depends solely on support from the community to keep the shelter running.

“The shelter is truly a community endeavor, and the largest percentage of our income comes from fundraising events, especially Wags to Riches,” Byron said. “With the continuing economic downturn, we are all working harder than ever to continue helping the homeless pets on San Juan Island.”

APS is a no-kill shelter and handles about 150 to 200 animals yearly, with a 98 percent adoption rate. The care for the animals costs about $125,000 per year, which includes food, critical care medical expenses, spay and neuter, vaccines, transportation, building maintenance and staff payroll.

This budget also includes helping low income families spay and neuter their own dogs.

“This is why Wags to Riches is such an important event,” Byron said. “It allows us to be able to continue doing what we do.  We can’t do it without this great community and the support they give us.”

Tickets are $85 by phone or in person at Island Tails in the Cannery Landing Building. Call Leslie at 378-2159 for more information.