NEW ORLEANS (press release) –  With a little help from their friends, Big Sky CARES will put the “fun” in fundraising at their block party celebration for Give NOLA Day from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3. Thanks to support from the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, and Gulf Coast Bank, the Folsom-based nonprofit animal welfare organization is inviting the entire community to come out and enjoy jambalaya, boiled crawfish, and world class local musical talent at their adoption and clinic facility located at 82060 Highway 25. Reduced adoption fees are offered courtesy of Cathy Bissell and Bissell Foundation.

“People are usually surprised to learn that we do not receive any government funding for our life saving programs,” said Catherine Wilbert, Big Sky CARES founder and CEO. “Every year, Give NOLA Day plays a critical role for us in attracting the donors and dollars we need to continue helping animals with nowhere else to go.”

“Fundraising for animal rescue is hard work, but when everyone comes together it really is a great time. We are grateful to our sponsors, friends, and supporters who are helping us make food and drinks available for sale, and we are especially grateful for Christian Serpas and Ghost Town Duo and A B Conversation for coming out to perform at our paw-ty,” said Wilbert. A B Conversation takes the stage from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and Christian Serpas and Ghost Town Duo perform from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

The funds raised by Big Sky on Give NOLA Day support ongoing efforts to pull animals out of crowded shelters, provide all the medical care they need, and match them with loving, forever homes where they can thrive and enjoy a second chance at life. Animals who are not adopted locally are transported to one of 17 trusted rescue partner organizations in 11 different states (Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, and Wisconsin) where the animals find homes through the adoption programs of these highly regarded organizations. Big Sky raises funds to cover medical, personnel, and transportation costs. Adoption and Transport are just 2 of more than a dozen Big Sky programs that keep animals out of shelters.

The 501c3 nonprofit organization known to many as Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP Foundation is now Big Sky CARES (Community Animal Resources and Education Services). The name change reflects the organization’s growth since its founding 10 years ago. Today, operations encompass two facilities. In 2021, the base of operations moved from Big Sky Ranch to a 6,000 sq. ft. multi-use facility at 82060 Highway 25 in Folsom, Louisiana. The Big Sky CARES facility houses a low-cost community animal clinic and hospital; the Calico Cat Café Adoption Center, where Big Sky pets mingle with potential adopters; a retail shop featuring locally handmade goods, animal-themed art and gifts, and discounted pet supplies; pet boarding space; and warehouse storage space for use in Big Sky’s role as an affiliate of GOODS (formerly Rescue Bank), a program of Greater Good Charities. Big Sky Ranch is now a sanctuary site for aging animals and some with special needs. Big Sky CARES helps about 3,000 animals each year through rescue programs and low-cost medical care. They have about 300-350 animals in their care at any given time.