06/26/09 — She's not coming out until she gets $1,000 for animals

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She's not coming out until she gets $1,000 for animals

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on June 26, 2009 1:46 PM

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Tammie Hedges poses with her cat behind bars at Tractor Supply Company for a "lockup" fundraiser to raise money for the cat and dog shelter Purrrfect Friends. She will stay behind bars until $1,000 is raised.

Usually it's the cats and dogs that are in cages at animal shelters, but this weekend, a Goldsboro woman is climbing into a pen to help raise money for homeless pets.

And even in the summer heat, she is not coming out until she raises $1,000 for Purrrfect Friends, an independent, non-profit cat rescue operating in Wayne County and surrounding counties, and the Wayne County Pit Bull Rescue.

"We're hoping to get a thousand dollars before Sunday," said Tammie Hedges, but she plans on staying in the cage until the money is raised even if it takes longer than that.

The idea for a lock-in fundraiser was modified from another shelter's fundraising idea, executive director Pam Campbell said.

Ms. Hedges, director of Purrrfect Friends, volunteered to be the one in the cage as soon as the group had worked out the idea.

"It'll be an interesting experience," she said.

She has a tent set up to keep off the sun, and a portable toilet will be delivered later today. Tractor Supply is providing the pen and a large fan to ward off the worst of the heat.

Ms. Hedges will even have company. The large black cat, Kota, sharing the cage with her this weekend is one of 22 cats Purrrfect Friends has available for adoption.

And pulling guard duty is friend, Joseph Echols, with Goliath, one of the pit bulls from the new breed-specific dog rescue, founded only last year. The money raised will be split between the two rescues.

The partnership between a dog-only and cat-only rescue might seem strange, but fate seemed to bring the two together.

"We got set up for a fundraiser on the same day and hit it off," Echols said.

Purrrfect Friends was founded when Hedges' love of cats turned into an effort to help them on a larger scale.

"I started bringing home kittens I found on the side of the road," she said.

The two organizations are both volunteer-based, and they always need foster homes for their animals. The funds will be used to provide food, shelter and medical care for homeless animals.

Tractor Supply manager George Dunne has helped with previous fundraising events for the two rescues, but even he was surprised with the latest money-raising project.

"I think it's a pretty novel idea," he said. "You've got to be pretty dedicated."

The groups began collecting donations today at noon. The money will not be left overnight, for safety reasons, organizers said.

For more information on the Wayne County Pit Bull Rescue, call 919-581-9505, and for more information on Purrrfect Friends, call 919-394-7706.