Tears Animal Rescue will hold its annual flagship fund-raiser, the Tears Sleepathon, on the Saturdays of November 12, 19 and 26, at its kennels and cattery in Sunnydale, giving animal lovers of all ages a chance to cuddle up to rescued dogs and cats.
The event helps to get the organisation through the approaching holiday season, its busiest time of year, according to Tears marketing manager Wendy Scheepers.
The sleepathon had raised a few thousand rand when it started nine years ago, she said, adding: “This year, we hope to raise more than R500 000.”
Tickets to this year’s sleepathon are R230. The event also helps to fund the organisation’s mobile clinic and veterinary hospital which provide health care, including free vaccinations and sterilisations, for pets from low-income communities.
“It is an incredible, feel-good event that will change your perspective on animal welfare. Last year, we had a child as young as 5 sleep in the shelter with his parents. If a 5-year-old can do it, then you can too,” said Ms Scheepers.
Michelle Coyne plans to attend this year’s sleepathon in memory of Lolly, the 10-year-old kennel mate she adopted after her first sleepathon in 2016 but had to put down last October.
“It may seem sad to some people to see these animals in kennels, but the animals don’t see it that way. For a dog who was living on the streets, Tears is like a five-star hotel with warm beds, nutritious food, and regular walks. They have no idea things can still get better once they are adopted,” Ms Coyne said.
She added: “Don’t feel sorry for them – they are the lucky ones. Feel sorry for the ones still out there on the streets and do what you can to help them to also be rescued by Tears and given a second chance to live the life they deserve.
“You might not get a lot of sleep because you will probably lose most of your mattress to your kennel mate, but you will find it hard to leave them in the morning.”
Tickets for the sleepathon can be bought through the Tears online shop, with 105 tickets available per evening for the three nights. Participants are encouraged to sign up as individuals, corporate teams, or as a family or group of friends with the invitation to secure additional donation pledges from family and friends.
Participants must check in at the shelter by 5pm. Everyone is encouraged to bring sleeping bags and camping gear, as well as snacks and treats to make their sleepover as memorable as possible. The sleepathon ends at 7am the next morning.
For more information or to book, email email@example.com or visit www.tears.org.za/sleepathon.