RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - When Tommie the pit bull died after being set on fire earlier this year, donations poured into Richmond Animal Care and Control.
The group posted to social media Monday morning that T-shirt sales alone helped raise nearly $100,000 to create the Tommie Fund.
“A dream goal: how wonderful would it be if we could help other shelters in need with the money that we had been gifted?” said Christie Chipps-Peters with RACC.
Now RACC says this money “will help support the cost of emergency medical care for animals in other municipal shelters across Virginia.”
“It’s open to municipal, publicly-funded shelter in the state of Virginia, that has a vet budget of under $150,000 a year,” said Chipps-Peters.
The aim is around $3,000 per animal, but that can change based on the board’s recommendation.
As of Monday’s launch, New Kent, Henrico, Hanover and Surry animal shelters have received money.
“There are good people out there, and there are good things that happen. When you can take something so bad and turn it around, there’s just not enough words,” said Lisa Moseley with Surry Animal Control.
Moseley says they’ve used about $2,000 to save six beagle-lab mixes from being euthanized. Each one tested positive for heartworms, which is an expensive parasite to treat.
“Even if it was $800 per dog, our budget is $10,000 for the year. Between everybody networking with everybody we know, we’re going to be able to save all these dogs and get them good homes,” Moseley said.
Chipps-Peters said they hope the extra funding can ease off the animal control officers that have to make the hard decisions.
“If we can be a piece of that puzzle that allows animal control officers in the middle of the night - when they’re scraping a dog off the road that had been hit - to allow them the chance to save that dog versus automatically euthanize it, then our Tommie Fund has done its job,” Chipps-Peters said.
RACC says they plan to hold annual events in honor of Tommie to maintain the cash flow of the fund.
“Please share this program with every animal lover you know, every rescue group you have contact with and collectively encourage your local municipal shelter to apply – we would love to help the animals in your community too,” RACC said.
Donations continue to be accepted for the Tommie Fund with additional fundraising campaigns being planned.
Team Tommie T-shirts are also still available and “will continue to go to the fund throughout the year.”
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