Wags and Wishes gets $11,000 from charity concert

CAMBRIDGE — Lori Gardiner knows the high cost of owning a pet. She runs Wags and Wishes Animal Rescue in Cambridge, and has volunteered with humane societies for 30 years.

“It’s amazing how fast you can go through money if you’re not careful,” said Gardiner regarding potential medical expenses.

Luckily for the all-volunteer group, Wags and Wishes received $11,000 through the Legendary Giveback 5 concert and an additional

Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The concert, hosted by Cheerwine and rock band The Avett Brothers, was held Nov. 18 at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury. Gardiner attended with her husband, Kevin, and daughter, Danielle Willey, as well as volunteers from Wags and Wishes. Not counting this year’s charity concert proceeds, the event has raised $200,000 since 2012 for many charities through ticket sales. It supports three different charities annually, with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign added this year to provide extra support.

“We were thrilled,” Ms. Gardiner said. “It’s a great amount for different medical issues.”

Wags and Wishes became an official nonprofit in 2009 and receives support from volunteers from Salisbury University. The organization partners with PetSmart, animal controls and shelters in Delmarva. Wags and Wishes takes abandoned dogs or dogs without owners, provides them with health checks, spay/neuter services, and works to find them forever homes.

“We are looking to help with the population problem,” said Gardiner, who added the organization is interested in obtaining a matching grant for part of the funds.

As for her plans for the money, Ms. Gardiner will spend the funds on major issues facing the dogs they rescue, including spay/neuter services, dental problems, grooming, heartworm-positive dogs, Lyme’s disease-positive dogs and those with fleas.

“We can really hit some areas that need it,” Ms. Gardiner said. “We are an all-volunteer group and all work full time.”

Ms. Gardiner received an email from Joy Harper, branch manager of Cheerwine, regarding the funds. It wasn’t until she received the check that she knew the amount.

“We weren’t really sure what to expect,” Ms. Gardiner said. “It was such a great experience. Everyone was so nice.”
For more information about Wags and Wishes, visit wagsandwishes.org or call 410-476-8629.

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