The Sampson County Animal Shelter will continue to benefit from a fundraising effort at Ruby Tuesday, through which a portion of the restaurant’s proceeds on specific days are awarded to the local facility. That effort has now been extended indefinitely.
Ruby Tuesday in Clinton first held a fundraiser on behalf of the shelter Jan. 29, Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, before extending it to March 1 and March 2, March 29-30 and April 25-27. Ruby Tuesday general manager Justin Bruno said the fundraising will become a regular occurrence.
“The first two days we were only able to raise $140, but hopefully, as more people know about it, they will come in,” said Bruno.
Those who dine at the restaurant on fundraising dates simply have to tell their waiter or waitress that they are there for the Sampson County Animal Shelter and 20 percent of the total bill will be donated to the shelter, located off U.S. 421 South, next to the Sampson County Livestock Arena.
The effort is part of the Ruby Tuesday Community GiveBack Program, which offers organizations a way to raise money for their specific needs by giving a charitable donation to those that host a dining event at any of its 700-plus participating locations, including the Clinton location on Sunset Avenue.
“It has to be somebody that comes into our restaurant and specifically says they are there for the Sampson County Animal Shelter,” Bruno pointed out.
He said those patrons’ orders are then tagged through the computer system and 20 percent of the proceeds from the orders are then earmarked for the shelter. The general manager lauded Ruby Tuesday for giving back and said it allows the restaurant franchise to have a local impact on the communities where it is located.
“Our company has a policy where we give back to a charity or organization of our choice,” said Bruno, who has volunteered with the Lynchburg (Va.) Humane Society and the Pennsylvania SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). “A lot of us on the staff are pet owners and have a soft spot in our hearts for animals.”
Animal shelter director Alan Canady said he was thankful for the partnership.
“The first days raised enough to buy some vaccinations,” said Canady. “That’s probably what we’re going to be using most of the money for is vaccinations for animals.”
Canady said adoptions and the health and care of the local animals are a key goal for the facility, which has undergone significant renovations in the past year. With the county strapped for funding, every dollar — and item, including food, blankets, cleaning products and the like — donated to the shelter is helpful.
“These funds will be of great benefit to the shelter and will help us continue the outstanding care that is given to the animals that are in our care,” Canady said of the Ruby Tuesday effort.
The shelter director said he was happy when told the fundraising would be continuous. Bruno is glad the company could help, and hopes the dollar amounts grow.
“We want to continue to do this,” Bruno remarked. “We’re planning on having this the last weekend of each month.”
In other animal-related matters, the Sampson County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at the end of this month on a comprehensive animal ordinance that would promote public safety by addressing pet ownership and a plethora of scenarios.
A public hearing is slated for 6 p.m. Monday, March 31, in the County Auditorium.
The ordinance would provide stronger legal authority for Animal Control deputies, addressing a number of topics not formally addressed currently, county officials said. It would increase restrictions on dangerous dogs, as well as address nuisance animals, breeders and wild and exotic animals.
A committee formed at the beginning of 2013 comprised of representatives with the Health Department, Sheriff’s Office, the Animal Shelter and Board of Health drafted the ordinance.
Health director Wanda Robinson said the purpose of the proposed ordinance is to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Sampson County. Certain provisions of the document initially included, including requirements for owners to obtain privilege licenses for their pets and list them annually with the Tax Administrator — and fines for non-compliance — have since been eliminated.
The 34-page draft ordinance is expected to posted on the county’s website, at sampsonnc.com, in the near future.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.