Queens of An­i­mal Res­cue

Drag show to ben­e­fit cats and dogs in need

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: LISA HARLOW

It can be a real drag for an­i­mals who don’t have a for­ever home, so Thomas But­ler founded My Big Gay An­i­mal Res­cue to make their lives bet­ter.

To raise funds for vet­eri­nary care, food and other pet sup­plies such as cat lit­ter, the res­cue will host their 4th Dragons For Res­cue fundrais­ing event “Girls and Ghouls” on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 28 from 7 to 11 pm at the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post #148 in Es­sex.

“Every six months we put on a fabulous drag show with the cream of the crop of fe­male im­per­son­ators,” said But­ler. This is the first time the show will be held in Es­sex. Since it is the last Satur­day before Hal­loween, it will be Hal­loween-themed and there will be a cos­tume con­test with prizes.

The event will fea­ture six dif­fer­ent per­form­ers through­out the evening, in­clud­ing MC Robert Huyck as Linda Rich­man from Satur­day Night Live’s “Cof­fee Talk” sketch and spe­cial guest John Lamb as Baby Jane Hud­son. Af­ter the show, there will be danc­ing with DJ Kia Yates un­til 11 p.m.

While But­ler, a grad­u­ate of Ch­e­sa­peake High School, is not one of the per­form­ers, he says he is the “reign­ing queen of the res­cue.” There will also be a cash bar, raf­fles, a 50/50, door prizes, and a silent auc­tion with items such as a one week stay at a condo in Ocean City. Raf­fles in­clude a bas­ket of cheer, wine bas­ket and a pet stroller.

But­ler works with the Bal­ti­more An­i­mal Res­cue and Care Shel­ter, Inc. (BARCS) and other shel­ters to take in an­i­mals who need to be pulled out of the shel­ter for med­i­cal is­sues, old age, or sim­ply be­cause they are con­sid­ered un­adopt­able.

“BARCS de­ter­mines if a res­cue can ad­dress med­i­cal and be­hav­ior is­sues and help the an­i­mal be­come adopt­able. When a res­cue takes in an an­i­mal, we saved that an­i­mal and freed up space in the shel­ter for an­other an­i­mal,” said But­ler.

But­ler ex­plains that BARCS can­not refuse a sur­ren­dered an­i­mal, and they re­ceive 12,000 an­i­mals each year. BARCS works with a net­work of res­cues such as My Big Gay An­i­mal Res­cue to find the an­i­mals fos­ter and per­ma­nent homes.

“I’ve al­ways been an an­i­mal lover since I was a child,” said But­ler, now 54. “I started out on my own res­cu­ing stray cats and hav­ing them spayed or neutered and vac­ci­nated.”

He then be­gan vol­un­teer­ing with res­cues as a trans­porter, driv­ing var­i­ous legs of a trip to get res­cued an­i­mals up and down the east coast. Work­ing as a trans­porter was a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and But­ler fig­ured out what worked and what didn’t. Two years ago he founded My Big Gay An­i­mal Res­cue, the only openly gay an­i­mal res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion on Face­book. The res­cue is based in Bal­ti­more City, but But­ler takes in an­i­mals from all over.

But­ler had a Mex­i­can hair­less dog named Is­abella who passed away last year at age 15 af­ter suf­fer­ing from oral melanoma but not before he had tried every med­i­ca­tion and pro­ce­dure to try to rid her of the can­cer. She was res­cued from a high kill shel­ter in South Carolina.

“I have a soft spot for the ones who are never go­ing to be adopted. Those who are 16, blind and have re­nal fail­ure. Th­ese an­i­mals are hard to adopt, and we have a small group of fos­ters who can pro­vide hous­ing and love,” said But­ler.

“Res­cue vol­un­teers see hor­rific ne­glect, abuse and euthana­sia based on home­less­ness. I’m just try­ing to raise funds to sup­port what we are do­ing, and th­ese events are fun and help us for­get about the se­ri­ous stuff for a few hours. This is an op­por­tu­nity to let loose and carry on,” he said. “We would love for ev­ery­one to come out and sup­port us.”

My Big Gay An­i­mal Res­cue’s Dragons for Res­cue fundrais­ing event:

“Girls and Ghouls” Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 28 from 7 to 11 pm Amer­i­can Le­gion Post #148, 20 S. Mar­lyn Ave., Bal­ti­more MD 21221

Tick­ets $15.00 in ad­vance through PayPal at Catsincity@ver­i­zon.net

(Please list all guest names in “notes” sec­tion) $20.00 at the door Am­ple free park­ing For more in­for­ma­tion, go to https:// www.face­book.com/pg/my­big­gayan­i­mal­res­cue/events/?ref=page_in­ter­nal.

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