Fuzzy Friends hosts charity event

Fuzzy Friends Rescue will be hosting it’s annual “Spayghetti” Dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Backyard Bar, Stage & Grill to raise money for their spay/neuter fund. Although the event is sold out, there is a waiting list that will be opened tonight as long as the weather is favorable. Tickets are $25. Woolley Booger (pictured) waits to be adopted. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

A local animal shelter is raising money for their spay/neuter fund with a “Spayghetti” Dinner tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Backyard Bar, Stage & Grill. The $25 tickets pay for an Italian buffet, entertainment provided by two members of the Sloppy Joe Band and a donation to Fuzzy Friends Rescue.

The Spayghetti Dinner occurs annually, but this year is the first time the event has occurred in such a large space. Brian Brown, the owner of the Backyard, said he is happy to offer the shelter a larger venue because he appreciates that Fuzzy Friends Rescue has a “no-kill” policy.

“I have a much softer heart for animals than humans,” Brown said.

Brown is also one half of the Sloppy Joe duo, who will be providing live music as they have for Spayghetti Dinners for several years. He said those attending can expect a lot of variety in their music and interaction with the audience.

Brown said he thinks the new venue will be a positive change for the event because the Backyard allows pets and can accommodate a larger crowd. In his estimation, Fuzzy Friends Rescue has already sold about 200 more tickets than in years past.

In fact, the event is already sold out, which director of shelter operations Vicki Martin said came as a pleasant surprise. Those wanting to attend can still be put on a waiting list that will open up tonight, as long as weather conditions are favorable.

Martin also recommends donating items to Fuzzy Friends Rescue because the shelter is continually in need of pet food, litter and other items listed on their website.

“Our mission is to save and rescue as many lost dogs and cats as possible and find them a friendly, forever home,” Martin said.

Part of finding a forever home is making sure those who adopt animals are committed to providing them with care. Fuzzy Friends Rescue requires those wishing to adopt be 21 years old and provide proof that their residence allows animals.

“You want that dog or cat to go home forever,” Martin said. “They’ve already been through trauma once, they don’t need to go through it again.”

Randy Hall, a lecturer in the Baylor physics department, agrees that a stricter set of qualifications for adoption is beneficial for the animals. He’s rescued two dogs, Dixie and Teddy, from the shelter.

“Students are transient by nature;.When May comes, they go away,” Hall said. “If a student goes out there and wants to adopt, they’re going to have to prove that they can give the dog a good home.”

Hall has attended the Spayghetti Dinner for the past seven years and plans to attend again tonight. He and his wife, who is a member of the board of directors at Fuzzy Friends Rescue, have been involved with the shelter as long as they’ve lived in Waco.

Hall said he thinks the event is a good opportunity for Baylor students to show their support for the shelter. He said the $25 cost is more manageable than most other large charity events in Waco.

“It’s a fun event that people can go to without having to make a large investment,” Hall said.

Besides the Spayghetti Dinner, Fuzzy Friends Rescue hosts many other events to raise money for their spay/neuter fund. These include the Barkin’ Ball on New Year’s Eve; Pooches on Parade, an animal fashion show; and Zombies on the Course, a 5K race where participants are chased by actors dressed as zombies.