ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Dozens of animals that would’ve been homeless and hungry are now healthy thanks to the efforts of a local bar. The Savoy Lounge has a unique way of collecting and donating money to Noah’s Ark.
50 Kittens, puppies, and full-grown cats and dogs are all waiting to be adopted. However, until they find a permanent home, they stay at Noah’s Ark in Rockford.
Employee Dena Gates says no matter how tight money gets, her focus never changes.
“Our mission is to actually find forever homes for all of the homeless animals involved here.”
Noah’s Ark has been around for almost 40 years and owners say they survive purely on donations.
“They actually have a kitty jar for us and everybody donates to the kitty jar.”
Gates is talking about the Savoy Lounge, a Rockford bar that has been donating to Noah’s Ark for the past three months, but it’s how they’re collecting money that’s unique.
“When people were gambling and they weren’t winning, they’d cash out for little tickets, 10, 15, you know even a penny leaving the tickets behind. We decided we were going to take the tickets and cash them in.”
Every cent they cash in is put aside and overtime those video gambling tickets have added up $570. It makes us all feel awesome. We’re benefiting from these machines. We figured somebody else should be able to benefit from them also.”
Gates says the money donated by Savoy is helping in a huge way.
“It helps us feed the animals. It helps us keep the lights on. Keeps them warm and keeps them healthy and comfortable.”
The bar doesn’t plan to stop their donations anytime soon.
Noah’s Ark says they also got a $2,200 from Rocky’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park. They say donations of that size usually last the shelter nearly a month.