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Harbor Humane Society hosts virtual 'Ales for Tails' fundraiser

The sixth, annual fundraising event features an online silent auction and wine pull, the auction ending at 8pm Thursday.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — Harbor Humane Society's "Ales for Tails" fundraiser has always been held in-person, but following COVID-19 restrictions, the sixth, annual event has been moved online.

Community members can still join in on the action, donating their money through a silent auction or wine pull on the shelter's website.

Jennifer Nuernberg, Harbor Humane Society's development coordinator, said the event brings in nearly $40,000 to the shelter each year, adding that COVID-19 has created more difficulties to raise funds.

"Everything you don’t even think of would have an impact: Our in-person events, adoption events, even local businesses doing fundraisers for us without us there, weren’t able to do that," she explained.

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Harbor Humane Society is Ottawa County's only recognized shelter to take in strays, something Nuenberg said has kept employees and volunteers busy amid the pandemic.

"We’re in a very unique position where we’re the shelter for OC so any strays come here to us, we don’t have the option to close," she said.

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Nuernberg added the shelter hopes to raise $25,000 this year, a smaller goal since the event was moved online. Harbor Humane Society's Board of Directors is matching up to $2,500 in donations.

Donor dollars help support long-term stays for animals at Harbor. Though we want an animal's shelter stay to be as short as possible, we know that's not always the reality for some harder to place animals. Animals like Jersey. Jersey's stay with us lasted over 9 months.

"We have an incredible community of support and animal lovers people are willing to do anything that they can...We’re just trying to do everything that we can to bring in the funds that help support our mission here at Harbor," Nuernberg said.

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