Furry friends benefit from the first Fur Ball


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Despite getting a late start on an idea, the first Lockhart Fur Ball was not only a successful fundraiser for the Lockhart Animal Shelter, but a huge hit for those who attended the gala Saturday night at Two Wishes Ranch.

“We didn’t start until the end of August and we had to find a venue, which is tough but Two Wishes jumped on it and said that if we could do it at the end of February we could get a big price break on the event,” said Karen Lairsen Jones, a board member of the Lockhart Fur Ball. “It usually takes a year of planning to pull off an event like that.

“It’s our first one. We hope to change it up a little and offer Lockhart a very different event next year, but yes, we will be back.”

The Fur Ball is not connected to the Animal Shelter or the City of Lockhart.

Other board members of the Fur Ball include Alex Worthington, May Gourley and Julia Haug.

The goal, Jones said, was to help the Lockhart Animal Shelter meet its immediate needs

Worthington began volunteering at the shelter in 2022, transporting dogs that were in danger of euthanasia due to overcrowding at the Lockhart Animal Shelter to other shelters where they found foster and/or forever homes for those dogs. 

“I also transported dogs that were in desperate need of medical attention that our shelter isn’t equipped to handle,” Worthington said. “What I witnessed at the shelter was disturbing, seeing how dedicated the employees and volunteers were, and they were fighting a losing battle. So, I started thinking, what if I engaged some locals to help me organize a benefit to help fund some much-needed things at the shelter, like vet care, medications, micro-chipping. So, I put out a call on social media asking if anyone would be interested in helping me organize a benefit gala for the shelter. The response was overwhelming.

“Our first gala was a rounding success. We netted over $23,000 for the shelter and that is going to make a mountain of difference in the care those animals will receive. We will also be putting together smaller fundraising events throughout the year while planning for next year’s second annual gala.”

The Fur Ball included a singer — Tysha Noel, –several raffle prizes, and a Fashion Show where members of the community walked dogs from the Lockhart Animal Shelter through the crowd, complete with music from DJ Will Rhodes.

Lockhart Mayor Lew White spoke to the crowd about what a great event the Fur Ball was to the Animal Shelter.

Kaye Askins and Sara Partridge also gave heartwarming stories of their rescued pets and how much the dogs had added to their lives.

“During the Covid shut down in 2020, like many other people, I was feeling so sad and isolated,” Askins said. “I was sitting at a bar after work on Pet Finder scrolling like I’m on Bumble looking for my soulmate when I see this little perky Chihuahua face. The headline on his profile said, ‘Meet Chicken Hawkins!’ I literally gasped and said, ‘That dog’s name is Chicken Hawkins!’

“The next morning, I called the Humane Society location (Waggin’ Tails) and set up a meet and greet. He was truly the epitome of ‘sad and poor,’ and my heart broke for him. When I asked about his story, they told me his person had to go to a nursing home and the family couldn’t keep him. Knowing the kind of grief both he and his owner had to have been going through really broke my heart. I took him home right away without even a second thought. Until I got home, then I was like ‘what in the world did you just do?’” 

Askins said it took time, patience and hard work to get Chicken where he is today.

“He didn’t come from the humane society a perfect, distinguished little gentleman and I hope people will consider that when looking for their furever fur babies,” Askins said.

Partridge said she found Chilly in Bryan.

“She was two miles from the nearest home,” Partridge said. “After several days, no one had claimed her, so I decided to bring her back to Lockhart so that I could properly re-home her. We fell in love and now she runs our home.”


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