'Furries' in Pittsburgh 'Worked Their Tails Off' to Raise Over $100,000 for Homeless Senior Pets

People who enjoy cosplaying as cartoon animals are helping senior pets find a forever home

Published Time: 11.07.2024 - 05:31:08 Modified Time: 11.07.2024 - 05:31:08

People who enjoy cosplaying as cartoon animals are helping senior pets find a forever home.

Darla Poole, co-founder of Gray Paws Sanctuary, told WTAE in an interview published on Monday, July 8, about how a sizable donation from "furries" helped real-life animals.

"That's where families that have their senior dog are considering giving them up, they can contact us, and we can help pay some of those medical costs," Poole said after this year’s Anthrocon convention raised more than $100,000 for her nonprofit. 

Anthrocon — best described as a “furry” convention in Pittsburgh — is held every June or July. Fans of anthropomorphic animal characters, also known as “furries,” gather each year to celebrate.

“We are a collection of artists, animators, writers, costumers, puppeteers, and just everyday fans who enjoy cartoon animals and their kin,” the convention's official website reads.

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Poole was surprised to learn that the group had chosen Gray Paws Sanctuary as this year’s recipient in July.

"We can help with the food more than we did before, any prescription diets and things like that," she told the news station last month. 

In a July 7 clip shared to Face -

book, the exact moment the donation was announced to the nonprofit can be seen — including Poole standing on stage, using a tissue to wipe away tears of gratitude.

“I am still crying!!” Gray Paws Sanctuary wrote in a repost of the video. 

“The staff at Anthrocon worked their tails off for us and the volunteers at GPS gave their all for 4+ days! It was the most unbelievable moment!!” the original caption to the video said of their fundraising efforts.

While on stage, Poole gave a moving speech, thanking those who contributed to the success of the massive donation.

“We constantly get s from people that need help, and I say ‘Yes’ to every single request because I didn’t have to worry about the money that was gonna be there,” she said.

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“It was just so wonderful to be able to do that,” she continued. 

In addition to the canines that Gray Paws Sanctuary assists, Poole and her husband and partner Joe Brescia own several senior dogs whose previous owners could no longer care for them.

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