The Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) held its 20th annual A Toast to the Animals on Saturday, Sept. 22, at TIAA Bank Field to raise funds for the JHS Medical Fund, which serves homeless dogs and cats in need of extra veterinary care.
JHS, which has operated a no-kill shelter since 2014, serves more than 6,000 dogs and cats per year. According to the JHS, the average annual costs per pet is $1,580 per dog and $715 per cat, making fundraisers such as A Toast to the Animals and Mutt March vital to their success.
The annual fundraiser boasted a wide array of food, beer and wine and a silent and live auction. For the fifth year in a row, the event was chaired by Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and his wife, Joelle. During the event, it was announced the new shelter medical center would be named in honor of the Caldwells.
Other football-related items also brought in money for the medical fund during the live auction, with a Pro Bowl helmet signed by six Jaguars players going for $3,000 and two tickets for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta going for $10,000. One of the biggest money-making items was a professional pet photo shoot that was auctioned off for $7,500, along with a matching donation by the Caldwells for a $15,000 total. The live auction raised $43,300.
For more information on the Jacksonville Humane Society, visit www.jaxhumane.org.