Oglala Pet Project holds annual fundraiser
To help combat overpopulation as well as provide animal protection, Oglala Pet Project was founded in 2011.
Teresa Riggio-Kenrick fosters dogs for the Oglala Pet Project – she considers it a way to give back and have an endless supply of canine friends.
Teresa says, “The Pine Ridge Reservation has a lot of really neat communities in it and a lot of really neat community members and so I wanted to be involved with something.”
Teresa explains it’s more than just a foster and adopt program — the organization helps the community and their pets through education, spay/neuter support, pet health resources, and re-homing or networking of abandoned, abused or unwanted pets. This program is volunteer based since there is no physical shelter on the reservation.
Teresa says, “It’s very cool to just be a part of an organization that is so involved with the community and really cares about not only the community members but the animals also … ensuring that the pets on the reservation are cared for and loved and you know – they have supplies that they need.”
As a part of their outreach, OPP takes in animal surrenders and strays and puts them with a foster family, where they are socialized. Then after the proper vaccinations they are ready for adoption.
Teresa says being a foster volunteer is not only enlightening but rewarding.
“It’s really fun being able to watch them come out of their shell and really awesome being able to see them meet their adopted family and then get adopted out, and then see those updated stories on them and see them really grow and thrive and get to be carefree dogs.”
The nonprofit utilizes foster homes both on and off the Pine Ridge Reservation to care for the OPP pets until a forever home is found.
“But without the support of the community and without the support of volunteers and organizations like Oglala Pet Project, these animals really risk losing their lives without people’s support and the help .”
The Oglala Pet Project relies solely on physical and monetary donations. The annual Sit, Sip and Stay Fundraiser is scheduled for October 5th at 5:00pm at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel, 2111 N Lacrosse St., Rapid City, SD.
Tickets to the event are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online for $31. There will be a silent auction, games, wine tasting, and a Culver’s custard bar.