Philadelphia’s Morris Animal Refuge is one of America’s first institutions that cared for and rehomed abandoned and suffering animals, particularly cats. When Elizabeth Morris founded the Refuge in 1874, there were no veterinary schools and cats weren’t even considered pets by many people. Nevertheless, Morris focused on helping cats, and the shelter helped 860 animals in its first year.
“She started off with a very small house right around the corner from us and eventually moved to the 1242 Lombard property. During that time period, she was mostly rescuing cats. Cats at that time, in the city of Philadelphia, weren’t considered pets like they are today. They were considered pests. She was one of the few and very first pioneers to get into animal rescuing and sheltering,” says Darryl Moore, Director of Operations at Morris Animal Rescue.
Now, imagine rescuing cats and dogs in a horse and wagon. In 1888 this mode of transportation was the Refuge’s first ambulance. Incredibly, the Refuge will mark 150 years without ever turning an animal away from its doors in 2024!
More about Elizabeth Morris below:
🎊 Morris Animal Refuge Celebrates Silver Fur Ball 🎊
Recently, the Refuge celebrated its 25th annual ‘Fur Ball’ gala at the Bellevue Hotel. It was called the “Silver Fur Ball: 25 Years of a Life-Saving Celebration.” Those who participated in person enjoyed kitten cuddling stations, dancing, an open bar, artist pet portraits, and special animal guests. Others could enjoy taking part in a Silent Auction from home.
At this glamorous event, cats and dogs reign supreme.
Below, you can see the Fur Ball featured artists’ pet portraits. As we’ve shared before, original pet portraits can work wonders for helping shelter cats and dogs find homes.
The day after Groundhog Day, the Refuge shared this cute picture of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, at the Fur Ball. This year, Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow at Gobbler’s Knob.
“Phil might not be looking forward to another six weeks of winter, but he is EXCITED for the FUR BALL,” they wrote.
When guests arrived, they could meet Thor, pictured below.
“Thor is excited to go to the Fur Ball! Are you?” the Refuge posted on Facebook.
At the bar, they offered a specialty cocktail dubbed the Morris 25.
To celebrate our 25 Annual Fur Ball, the specialty cocktail for the night is a twist on the classic French 75!
— Morris Animal Refuge (@MorrisAnimal) March 22, 2022
Amazingly, Fur Ball raised over $94K to help animals as they celebrated.
We had such an amazing time with everyone last night, celebrating and raising money for Morris' lifesaving mission!
We raised $94,254!
— Morris Animal Refuge (@MorrisAnimal) March 26, 2022
Then, a last-minute donation bumped the Morris Animal Refuge’s donations to over $102K.
The final number is in!
Thanks to an extremely generous last-minute donation from The William C Lucia Charitable Fund we beat our goal with a total of $102,377! Thank you to everyone who helped us make this the best Fur Ball yet!
📷 Photos by Tori Rep/Fotobuddy pic.twitter.com/CV8vgBLKvV
— Morris Animal Refuge (@MorrisAnimal) March 28, 2022
🐕 The Fur Ball Saves Furbabies 🐈
Thanks to all the generosity, the Refuge will be able to continue caring for homeless, abandoned, and unwanted pets in the Greater Philadelphia region. Due to the COVID pandemic, they, like shelters nationwide, have seen a rise in animals being surrendered. Initially, shelters enjoyed a rise in animal adoptions until people returned to work or faced evictions from their homes. Thankfully, the Fur Ball’s success will mean many of those animals can find new homes.
View this post on Instagram
Images: Facebook, Morris Animal Refuge/ Photos by Tori Rep/Fotobuddy