By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Animal lovers can support the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society at its sixth annual fundraiser Thursday at the GumTree Museum of Art.
“Art for Animals” will feature its traditional silent auction of original pieces by local artists, as well as a host of unique items donated by area businesses.
New this year is the presence of north Mississippi author Mary Anne Doolittle Byrne, who will be signing copies of her book, “Recycled Pets Are Best.” The book contains a collection of stories about rescuing abandoned, abused and neglected animals.
“Mary Anne has been involved in rescuing animals for more than 40 years, and has very generously offered to donate all proceeds from the sale of her book at Art for Animals to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society,” said TLHS Board President Amanda Wallis.
The event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $20 per person and will be available for purchase at the door or in advance at the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society. Admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar also will be available.
Wallis said she hopes to raise $20,000. Proceeds will go to the nonprofit agency’s capital fund for construction of a new animal shelter. The fund currently has more than $500,000 but estimates have placed the price of a new facility at $2.5 million to $3 million.
Shelter officials say they’ll get a more accurate price after architects with The McCarty Company finish the design, which began earlier this year. That process will determine square-footage and other facility features to accommodate the roughly 200 animals housed there weekly.
The new shelter will be on Cliff Gookin Boulevard just east of Thomas Street on land donated last year by Big Oaks Farm. It will replace the current shelter at 2400 S. Gloster St., which is outdated and too small to adequately house all the animals.