A Calgary animal rescue society is hoping that ticket sales for its cash lottery will resume so that it can continue to help the hundreds of animals in its care.
Unable to hold its annual Jail ‘n Bail fundraiser this year due to COVID-19, the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) once again turned to a cash lottery to raise funds.
The Fall Lottery was first introduced as a substitute for the event in 2020.
This year, there is a total of $ 70,000 to be won; the early bird prize is $ 10,000, the grand prize is $ 50,000 and there are ten additional bonus prizes of $ 1,000.
âIt’s a great way to raise funds because we haven’t been able to host so many of our events,â said AARCS Executive Director Deanna Thompson.
Thompson said lottery ticket sales are over 40 percent sold.
âWe really hope we can sell,â she said, adding that in 2020 they sold out on the very last day.
“We were hoping that with the early draw, more people would be encouraged to buy early, which hopefully brings us a little closer to selling.”
The deadline for early bird tickets for the AARCS is Sunday September 26th.
The lottery draw dates are October 6, 2021 for the early bird prize and November 10 for the final draw.
Thompson said the money raised through the lottery goes for a lot of things, but mostly medical bills for the more than 600 animals in their care.
“Our first expense is medical costs. The animals in our care – most of them neither spayed nor neutered, they don’t have their vaccines, many are injured.”
Thompson said COVID-19 presented a number of challenges to their organization.
âWe work in many remote communities so it has been a challenge getting our people out so that we can reach animals in need. “
She said that at the start of the pandemic, AARCS saw an increase in the number of volunteers coming forward to welcome animals.
âIt was great to see people who had come forward and said, ‘Hey, I’m working from home now so I can promote. “
“And then when things opened up and summer hit, those numbers really went down.”
Thompson said there were also many volunteers who were unable to come due to medical issues or were simply no longer comfortable doing so.
âWe just really had to be nimble,â she said. “Animal welfare needs don’t stop during a human pandemic.”
If you are interested in volunteering or welcoming animals with the AARCS, you can visit their website for more information.