Oklahoma Alliance for Animals takes a holistic approach to solving pet overpopulation and welfare issues
What do you think of when you hear the word “furball?” As a youth, I have memories of the hack….cough…choke….and then a “furball” left for us by our family kitty cat. As an adult, I hear the word “Fur Ball” and with excitement, anticipate one of Tulsa’s most unique and imaginative fund-raising events.
With mind-boggling creativity, Oklahoma Alliance of Animals (OAA) founders Jamee Suarez and Robin Suarez, conceptualized Fur Ball. Jamee left a volunteer position at Tulsa SPCA and immediately felt a heart tug to address the problems of pet overpopulation and the large number of animals euthanized each year. OAA, a Tulsa non-profit collaborative organization, was established in 2004 with the primary mission to bring people and resources together to battle pet homelessness, abuse, and neglect. OAA is dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation, promoting pet ownership, and humane treatment of animals through community collaboration and education. The vision of OAA is to transform Oklahoma communities into positive places where all animals are treated humanely with no healthy, adoptable dog or cat euthanized because it does not have a forever home.
OAA takes a holistic approach to solving pet overpopulation and welfare issues. In order to reduce the number of adoptable animals euthanized, there must be an increase in animals adopted from shelters and rescue groups. However, this means there must be a decrease in the number of animals entering our shelters. Education programs are key to preventing animal abuse, neglect and pet overpopulation. OAA is a collaborative organization, facilitating animal rescue organizations, veterinarians, municipal animal shelters, law enforcement, and community members to work together to achieve common goals.
OAA accomplishes their goals with several initiatives and events. Adopt a Little Okie, helps match Oklahoma homeless pets in shelters with potential homes and keep pets healthy and happy during their stay at shelters. Woofstock and Rock & Rescue, are large scale adoption events, inviting rescue groups to show the pets they have available. It’s Hip to Snip is a month long campaign in February, that focuses on affordable access to spay and neuter procedures for the public. Unchain Oklahoma sends volunteers to respond to the needs of dogs that are chained and are in life threatening danger from the elements. OAA actively supports legislative and public policy that reduces pet overpopulation and ensures the humane treatment of all animals, such as the recently passed Oklahoma Commercial Pet Breeders Act that targets puppy mills in Oklahoma. OAA began the first CLEET certified class training law enforcement to identify, respond to and investigate cases involving animal cruelty. OAA acts as a resource to the public offering a procedure to report cases of animal abuse and neglect, as well as provide resources to humane organizations that care for animals victimized by crime. These initiatives are highly effective, but require funding. This is where Fur Ball’s importance is most evident.
Fur Ball’s objective is to raise funds to support OAA’s programs and initiatives. Each year, Fur Ball is a themed event to add a little flair and excitement. This year is no different and promises to be the “cats meow” of animal events in Oklahoma. The Great Catsby and the Barking 20’s is sure to be a hit. There will be games, raffles, silent and live auctions, great food and drink. The silent auction tables, appear to expand city blocks, and there is something for everyone’s interest, including luxury destination vacations, original artwork and signed memorabilia for the bidding. One item will be a signed guitar donated by Carrie Underwood. Fur Ball is November 5, 2016 at 6:00pm at the historical Greenwood Cultural Center at 322 N. Greenwood Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Visit OAA’s website at AnimalAllianceOK.org to purchase tickets or sponsorships. You can also call 918-742-3700 if you have any questions.