Dogs Rescued in Landmark Legal Case have Something to Wag About at Second Annual Annapolis Cruise Fundraiser

Posted on September 19, 2007

Victims of North Carolina Animal Hoarders Celebrate New Life with Maryland Foster Families

Annapolis, Md. -
After a lifetime of suffering in horrific conditions on the property of
convicted animal abusers in the small town of Sanford, North Carolina,
a Jack Russell Terrier named Ben who was rescued by the Animal Legal
Defense Fund (ALDF) in a groundbreaking lawsuit will be cruising with
his Annapolis-based foster family in a gala fundraiser for the animal
organization. Joined by miniature pinschers named Franklin and Georgia
who were rescued along with him, Ben will cast away for a night of
celebration with more than 60 dogs–and their human families–who will be
enjoying the celebration aboard the Harbor Queen.

WHEN: Friday, September 21, 7:00 pm – 10:00pm

WHERE: Departs from the Annapolis City Dock on Watermark’s Harbor Queen

Why is the Annapolis City Dock going to the dogs? In the spring of 2005, the North Carolina judge presiding over ALDF v. Woodley
found the animal “hoarders” (a term used to describe people who keep
far more animals than they are able to care for) guilty of multiple
counts of animal cruelty and ordered the removal of their hundreds of
dogs – many of whom had been living in their own excrement and urine,
denied appropriate human contact and care, and kept for their entire
lives in dark packing crates. In the landmark victory, custody was
awarded to ALDF, which now works to keep them all placed in the homes
of foster families. Because the Woodleys have filed appeals, the dogs
cannot yet be adopted out permanently.

When
Larry and Michelle Kownacki, the owners of Pets Paws Boutique in
Annapolis, learned about ALDF’s legal victory–and the ongoing need for
foster families for the overwhelming number of  dogs rescued from the
Woodleys–they volunteered to become the foster mom and dad to Ben, a
now-spunky Jack Russell terrier who is thriving with his new family.
Last September, Michelle organized the first voyage of “Little Ben’s
Big Fundraiser Cruise” for 80 dogs and 165 human supporters. The
sold-out event raised $5,400 for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

“It has been an incredible journey for Ben on the
way to this week’s high seas celebration,” says his foster mom
Kownacki. “Not a day goes by that he doesn’t make us laugh with his
sheer enjoyment of life. He was close to death not long after joining
our family, and I made a promise that if he pulled through, we’d have a
big fundraiser, in honor of him and all of the effort that went into
his rescue. In an effort to help stop abuse and neglect for the animals
who still suffer each day, we have made Little Ben’s Big Fundraiser
Cruise an annual event in Annapolis.”

Last minute tickets for the dog-friendly
festivities, featuring live music, games, raffles, and a silent
auction, are available by calling 410-263-8683. Tickets are $44 (dogs
are free when accompanied by a well-behaved adult).
All proceeds
benefit the Animal Legal Defense Fund.