All For Four-Legged Furry Friends: Successful Bosque Spay Neuter Fandango exceeds fundraising goal; special recognition for Sager, Wellman & Olsen
CLIFTON – Tackling the over-population of cats and dogs is an ongoing endeavor for several Bosque County organizations. But no matter how badly the mostly volunteers want to help citizens of Bosque County by taking care of family planning for the four-legged furry friends or finding them caring forever homes, they cannot do so without funds.
At the Third Annual Fandango Fundraiser at Texas Safari Ranch, the Bosque Spay Neuter hosted 160 guests for a great party Sat. Sept. 23. They enjoyed a fun-filled evening out with a delicious dinner, an open bar offering specialty Cat’s Meow cocktails, jazzy live music, and a Giraffe Meet and Greet with JM, Annabelle and Betty – all benefitting a great and noble cause.
Bosque Spay Neuter supporters and volunteers come in all forms, fostering animals, making donations, transporting dogs to rescue partners and cats to the Waco spay/neuter clinic. BSN President Karen Cornett was honored to name the 2023 Supporters of the Year—BSN Board Treasurer Steve and Special Volunteer Peggy Olsen.
“Because of the love they have shown for this organization and our mission, we have been able to embrace new opportunities and find new ways to thrive,” Cornett said. “They have tackled our problems and continue to find solutions. They have been instrumental in securing our new headquarters and without them this Fandango would not be a success. They have donated the alcohol for the bar, all the wine, the appetizers and half of the live auction items, just to name a few. Not to mention the countless hours they have spent setting up this event.”
BSN Executive Director Carol Linn surprised long-time Board Secretary Glenda Sager with a special honor, expressing the organization’s endless gratitude for her many years of service to the organization, her compassionate dedication to improving lives of stray dogs and cats and her steadfast commitment to the continued success of BSN. As board secretary, Sager kept track of all the important stuff that keeps a non-profit running.
When they started out as Clifton Community Cats eight years ago, Sager was Linn’s side-kick since day one. They trapped cats together, loading them into their cars to the Animal Birth Control clinic in Waco, often stopping for breakfast at a fastfood restaurant along the way.
“I love animals and can’t think of anything that is more worth my time than caring for these poor little creatures,” Sager said. “We have always fostered animals, but it is always so hard to let them go. And I always worried for them, hoping they would go to a good home; because I thought nobody could take as good care of them as I did.”
She now has four dogs and six cats that receive her permanent love and care. She jokingly said – and her daughter Desiree nodded in agreement – that she took better care of her animals than her seven children.
Linn also recognized Alexis Sibila Wellman as the 2023 Volunteer of the Year for being the best dog foster and trainer. Wellman and her husband also regularly transport dogs to rescue partners. Thanks to her love for the dogs in her care, lives were changed and saved.
So far this year, BSN transported 465 puppies and dogs to rescue partners. And not all puppies and dogs are challenging to find a home for, mainly because they have not been socialized. It takes huge helping of love and consistent training that helps each dog build their confidence so they can fit into a new family setting and thrive.
Prior to transport, Wellman takes wild, abandoned, “not-so cute and fluffy anymore,” energetic puppies with no training or any idea how to behave in company.
“Fifty-plus pounds of frustrating energy. Where do you start?” Linn asked. “Our volunteer of the year knows exactly where to start. She’ll take a wild tornado and in a short time turn it into a well-mannered angel. She has the magic touch.”
“We thank you for this gathering of friends who work selflessly to protect and make safer, better lives for the animals we are charged to protect,” Bryan Davis said in his opening prayer. “Father, you remind us throughout scripture of your love for all creatures of the earth. We know that no sparrow falls that you don’t feel the pain and abandonment these creatures experience.
“Lord, protect them and guide our work as we strive to do more, so that each of your creations might better live their lives with the same comfort and dignity we all deserve.”
That summed up what the evening and Bosque Spay Neuter is all about – protecting vulnerable, abandoned, neglected animals through family-planning, transport of adoptable pets and support of those souls taking on the care of these poor creatures deserving of a better life. Needless to say, there were many animal lovers among the Fandango guests wanting to support the BSN in their mission.
When the Upton’s moved to Clifton, Linn was one of the first people they interacted with. The previous home owners had left five barn cats behind and Linn helped trap them. That is one reason why they support BSN, for the help they received. At this moment, she is taking care of six orphaned kittens, and will probably need help again soon to get them spayed and neutered.
Erin Shields and her family grew up fostering jobs; she recently adopted a rescue dog. Cornett thought she wanted to become a veterinarian, until she realized that being a vet was not all about loving and caring on the animals. She redirected her love for animals to this worthy cause.
“I adore my dogs and cats; they’re my family,” Cornett said. “They’re so loving and trusting, with deep souls and they deserve love and care in return. With BSN we’re taking care of one puppy, one dog, one cat at a time and I hope we make a difference in their lives.”
Rescuing animals and providing the help and care they direly need can be very emotional; but it cannot be done without funds. Cornett was elated about the amount raised at the Fandango this year. Not all figures were tallied, but she expected it to exceed last year. And she couldn’t have done it without her “dream team;” it is truly a group effort.
“We always panic before the event, but the generous community showed up and spent a lot of money for the good cause,” Cornett said. “We are so grateful and appreciate everybody’s contribution, from offering items for the silent auction to buying a ticket.”
Every donation helps BSN help the people and pets who need it the most. Cornett shared that the organization is currently renovating a building on 5th street, that will serve as their headquarters with an office/board room, treatment rooms, a fenced in yard, permanent pet pens in a staging area needed to house the dogs ready for transport – this now happens in Linn’s garage.
“A lot of these dogs come to us broken, lost, and abandoned and it so amazing to see the end of their story come to happiness,” Linn shared on one BSN’s many Facebook posts. “Our team is a beautiful group of strong dedicated animal lovers who believe in the value spay/neuter and rescue brings to our community.”
The organization thrives on their volunteers. These selfless souls help access situations and trap animals in need, drive gods and cats to vet appointments and savvy marketing gurus help tell the countless stories. Oh, and then there are all the volunteers that help with fun events, like the Fandango.
Be sure to like and follow Bosque Spay Neuter on Facebook. They regularly seek donations for transports, food donations, and call for temporary fosters. Or consider buying items on their Amazon Wish list. With a simple mouse click, send love to the dogs and cats in our community who need our help for their health and safety.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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