Humane Society’s Auction draws dog (and cat) lovers

HORNELL – Pet lovers are hoping to fetch prizes while helping the Hornell Area Humane Society this weekend.

The humane society’s annual basket auction continues Friday through Saturday at The Main Place in Hornell.

Two hundred items ranging from theme baskets and gift certificates to “big items” are available to bidders whose lucky tickets will be drawn on Saturday afternoon.

The auction is the humane society’s “biggest fundraiser of the year,” according to Colleen Sutfin, a member of the HAHS fundraising committee. To encourage a bigger turnout, the auction began in the showroom of Maple City Dodge for three days this week before moving to The Main Place.

Convenient locations are just one part of the draw. Pet-themed baskets — including pet carriers and dog treats — attracted bidders like Lori Williams and her daughter April Lonergan of Hornell. Williams cradled Lonergan’s Shih Tzu-Weiner dog mix, Snooki, as they surveyed the baskets.

“I’m an animal lover, and I think they deserve a chance because they don’t have a voice to (speak) for themselves,” Lonergan said.

Besides baskets, the auction features gift certificates to area restaurants such as the Italian Villa, the Brute, Pizza King, Annie’s of Canisteo, Paddy’s Pub and more. The Hornell Golf Club donated several rounds of golf. Massage therapist Kimberly Glover donated a thirty-minute massage. Walker Metalsmiths of Andover donated a Celtic cross pendant. The donations are the result of dogged work by HAHS volunteers.

“We send out a letter every year to the local businesses, but also the shelter will send out an email to their volunteers,” Sutfin said.

“We get a bigger following each year. Our businesses are wonderful to us. We’re so appreciative,” she added.

Besides the standard tickets, visitors can purchase additional tickets for “big ticket items” such as a mitre saw, a large planter from Bennett’s Greenhouses and a bicycle donated by the Alfred-Almond Central School faculty.

“Our big ticket items are usually our unique items . . . we do have several $100 gift cards from local businesses that individuals donated,” Sutfin said.

Bidders like 7-year old Tyler Rankl of Hornell can have their eyes on a more modest prize. The HAHS auction features a section of baskets built just for kids. Tyler carefully surveyed each basket of toys and sports equipment on Thursday afternoon before depositing his tickets.

“He loves coming here every year. He has yet to win a kids basket, so he’s hoping,” Torri Rankl, Tyler’s mother, said.

Winning tickets will be drawn beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday at The Main Place.