Facebook fundraiser raises over $14,000 for animal shelter

Published 12:10 am Thursday, November 16, 2023

SALISBURY — A national animal advocate made a stop at the Rowan County Animal Shelter on Tuesday to help raise funding for the animals who are staying at the shelter.

Kris Rotondra makes stops throughout the country with animal shelters and other animal-related charities to help with raising money and awareness through his non-profit, Jordan’s Way. Along the way, Rotondra made a stop in Rowan County to help partner with the shelter and non-profit Shelter Guardians for a Facebook Live fundraiser with the goal of raising $15,000.

“This is my second time here in about three or four years. Last time we were here they raised over $8,000. Could they beat that number this year for some of the amazing animals I’ve got here,” said Rotondra in his introduction on Facebook Live.

The event had donation goals that if they were reached during the three-hour-long fundraiser called for people to get pied in the face, hosed down with water or locked into the cages with the dogs. Volunteers were split into two teams during the fundraiser and donors were asked to choose a team to contribute to when they made a donation. Whichever team had raised the most money during certain periods would be on the winning side of one of the goals such as Team Two getting to throw pies at the members of Team One in the face after a donation contest.

Rowan County Commissioners Mike Caskey and Craig Pierce along with Salisbury Mayor Pro-Tem Tamara Sheffield participated in the event. At one point during the fundraiser, a viewer said that they would only donate if Pierce agreed to fully match it. Pierce provided no hesitation before responding with “alright, let’s do it.”

Rotondra was described before the event as “famously high energy” by Shelter Guardians founder Nina Dix, and that held true as he bounced from animal to animal and room to room throughout the event. He asked volunteers and workers questions, filmed the entire three-hour event and introduced many of the shelter’s dogs all while helping run the fundraiser.

By the end of the event, the fundraiser had raised around $14,000, and that number continued to rise in the days afterward. Shelter Guardians stands a little over $600 away from their goal, and the organization will still be accepting donations for this fundraiser until a week after the event. To donate, go to https://facebook.com/donate/665809585363947/744184224402677/.