By Carol McCracken
Last evening’s Animal Refuge League fundraiser was a success and will become a permanent event for the Westbrook-based animal rescue service. The event was held on the site of The Portland Company at 58 Fore Street.
Jay Moody, one of the numerous volunters at the event said he began volunteering for the non-profit after adopting several cats who “were born out of wed-lock.” (That’s what he said!) Although one of them is now deceased, he said he loves his cats. Jay gets involved in special events such as this one, sometimes serving as a bartender. His mind was very focused on his remaining four bids having just lost one – a seascape painting – by a mere $10. Jay is a relative of the Moody who built the Observatory on the Hill.
Jay Milligan is president of the League’s Board of Directors. He said the Board had talked about a variety of fundraising events and decided on the arts/cocktail route. “Donations are down and owners surrendering their pets to the shelter are up in this economy,” he said. “All of the proceeds from this event will go for medical bills. For things like spaying, dental and eye care as well. Vet bills are the biggest part of our budget.”
Milligan knows whereof he speaks when it comes to caring for animals. He and his wife have thirteen cats and two dogs. Part of the reason they have so many cats is that cats are harder to adopt. Dogs “go right through the shelter.” He credits his wife with caring for them. The couple takes in the animals who are older and often need special care at the end of their lives. “They are our children,” Milligan said. He’s with TD BankNorth.