Their monthly vet bills alone can often hit the $20,000 mark.
It's an astonishing figure that piles even more pressure on the Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS) to raise as much money as possible at its annual gala.
Last year, RAPS' inaugural black-tie gala rustled up an impressive $40,000 for the no-kill shelter, which saves, cares for and adopts out thousands of stricken, abandoned and unwanted animals every year in the city.
This year, the "Paws and Pumpkins Halloween Gala" is set for Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel.
And with around 100 of the 300 tickets still to be sold, time is running out for RAPS to cash in on what is its single biggest moneymaker for the year.
"I guess this is the hard part of being a no-kill shelter," said RAPS' executive director Carol Reichert, referring to vet bills it shells out to keep the animals alive.
"But we love them all and we wouldn't have it any other way."
The need for donations and fundraising at RAPS was all the more evident earlier this year when 38 dogs were dumped in cages and crates at the No. 5 Road shelter's front door.
Thankfully, only five of them have yet to be adopted out. But it cost RAPS thousands of dollars to vaccinate, feed and board the dogs before they could find new homes.
It's such expenditures that RAPS hopes will be softened by next week's gala, which volunteer Cathy Gvora promises is going to be a fun night.
"Dressing up is optional, but there will be prizes for the best costume," she said.
"There's going to be a wonderful buffet, a DJ, a live band, an Elvis impersonator and some amazing silent auction prizes.
"It's an extremely important night for us and we'd love to sell as many tickets as possible to help the shelter throughout the year."
Some of the auction prizes include: An allexpenses paid trip to Victoria, courtesy of Harbour Air; an $800-value Invicta men's watch; prints by
artist Brittani Faulkes and a Mini Cooper for the weekend, courtesy of Yaletown Mini Cooper.
Tickets for the gala - $100 each or $900 for a table of 10 - are available online at
www.rapsociety.com or in person at the shelter at 12071 No. 5 Road or by calling 604 275 2036.
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