Joe Zacconi, a member of the LAPS board, shared a room with this tiny cellmate for a fundraiser at the animal shelter in Aldergrove. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Joe Zacconi, a member of the LAPS board, shared a room with this tiny cellmate for a fundraiser at the animal shelter in Aldergrove. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

‘Kennel Break’ raises more than $9,000 for LAPS cats and dogs

Volunteers were locked up with some furry friends for an afternoon

LAPS volunteers and staffers, along with some Langley dignitaries, let themselves be “locked up” in kennels at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter this month as part of a fundraiser for four-legged friends.

The Kennel Breakout event was the first of its kind for the Langley Animal Protection Society, and so far it’s raised more than $9,000. The volunteers agreed to raise a certain amount of “bail” to be freed.

One of those was local actress Magda Apanowicz, who has appeared in movies and TV shows, including You, iZombie, The Magicians, and Travelers.

“I adopted my first dog from here,” Apanowicz said.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, she decided to fulfill a long-held desire to have a dog, and adopted Jack, a 12-year-old pooch.

“I really wanted to adopt a senior dog,” she said. “I’m a bleeding heart.”

He had arthritis, heart disease, and tooth decay, but that didn’t deter Apanowicz.

“He had this big smile, and I just knew I had to take him home with me,” she said.

When Jack died this past January, she was devastated.

But because Jack had been “the best thing that ever happened to me,” she wanted to give back to the shelter.

By the spring, she was volunteering at the shelter, walking dogs, playing with them, and donating toys.

And on Oct. 12, she volunteered to be one of the eight folks sharing a kennel until they were “bailed out” by hitting their donation total.

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Apanowicz was aiming to raise $500, and was sharing a kennel with Stella, a rangy German shepard-ish dog.

“She’s so full of energy,” said Apanowicz. Stella loves playing fetch, and Apanowicz said that in her visits to the shelter, she has yet to tire the dog out.

Also locked up was Joe Zacconi, the treasurer of the LAPS board of directors.

Zacconi had a much smaller, quieter companion in his kennel – a palm-sized grey kitten.

He noted that spending a few hours just sitting with his animal cellmate wasn’t so bad.

“You could spend days with kittens, sometimes,” he said.

Word was filtering in that donations were arriving while Zacconi was locked up.

“It sounds like it’s doing really well, actually,” he said.

As of this week, the fundraiser has collected more than $9,000 in bail, and donations are still being accepted online through LAPS’ Canada Helps website.

Apanowicz raised $1,333, and Zacconi raised $2,050.

The top fundraiser was LAPS dog house manager Alicia Santella, who raised $2,140.

Fundraising is key for LAPS. While the shelter and animal control functions of the society are partly funded by Langley Township and City, the society’s care for cats is 100 per cent donor funded.

You can donate up to Oct. 24 at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/langley-animal-protection-society/p2p/kennelbreakout/#participants.


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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Magda Apanowicz and Stella were part of the Kennel Break fundraiser at LAPS last week. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Magda Apanowicz and Stella were part of the Kennel Break fundraiser at LAPS last week. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

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