- Associated Press - Saturday, January 7, 2017

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A non-profit group dedicated to saving at-risk animals will be holding an annual homemade soup and sandwich sale to benefit recovery efforts.

The group is currently taking pre-orders.

Friends Fur Life Rescue is a local organization that has operated in the Eastern Panhandle area for several years. Gabriela Martin, a volunteer, said people have enjoyed the soups and sandwiches the group has made for previous events and decided to hold a new event.

“This is our first official fundraiser of the year,” said Gabriela Martin, volunteer with Friends Fur Life. “This is our first time that we’ve done it and first time we’ve tried the soup and sandwich fundraiser by itself.”

The group is accepting pre-orders for Maryland crab soup, white chicken chili, beef vegetable, chicken corn soup, chicken corn chowder and others. Proceeds from the homemade soups will go to assist the organization’s goals.

“They’ll primarily go to help vetting costs and boarding costs,” Martin said. “It will allow us to take more animals in and off the euthanasia list and poor condition list.”

The group has years of experience in saving animal lives.

“We communicate with local shelters around the area and in southern West Virginia,” Martin said. “If we have the funds and the space, we’ll take animals in and pay boarding costs until we can get them adopted.”

Friends Fur Life began to expand after having success.

“We used to help with the Humane Society in Berkeley Springs and decided to help a broader area,” Martin said. “Because we don’t have a physical location per se, we can help a multitude of locations. We network with other agencies and often assist with transporting the animals to where they need to go so that we may be able to help an adoptable pet find their forever home.”

At Friends Fur Life, it’s all about helping pets find their new “furever” home, Martin said.

“It’s very rewarding,” Martin said. “Sometimes it’s a slow a process because we’re working with high risk animals. Some animals have been neglected and vet costs are higher. In some cases, we work with trainers to socialize and increase our success rate for their situation. We get to know the animal’s personality - how they get along with children or pets - to have a lesser chance of the animal being returned.”

The event was prompted after people came to past fundraisers for the food.

“This is our fourth year operating, and the food always seems to have a big draw,” Martin said. “We have had yard sale events and people would ask for to-go containers, and when we saw a lot of people enjoyed homemade soups, we thought we could take pre-orders.”

The organization will also be having a clothing event coming up as well.

“We’re also going to be having an event at James Rumsey Technical Institute on Jan. 24,” Martin said. “Lularoe clothing seems to be popular right now. Interested people should visit our website, we have a list of upcoming events and of course information on adoptable pets.”

Soup and sandwich pre-orders can be picked up on Jan. 15th at the Lady Eagle’s girls softball field across from Hedgesville High School.

Additional information on Friends Fur Life Rescue and events can be found at www.friendsfurliferescue.com.

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Information from: The Journal, https://journal-news.net/

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