A viral sensation and animal adoption advocate lent a paw to homeless animals awaiting forever homes at the James L. “Bo” Bryant Animal Shelter. Four hours, barks and yells later, the West Feliciana Animal Humane Society nearly doubled its goal and netted more than $9,000 in donations.
Kris Rotonda, founder of the nonprofit Jordan’s Way, spent 72 hours in a shelter cage and then embarked on a mission to visit 50 states to bring money and adopters to shelters. The St. Francisville event was one of three Louisiana stops that included facilities on the north shore and West Baton Rouge Parish.
Rotonda’s fame has been highlighted on the Dodo and Hallmark Channel, but that fame coming to the West Feliciana community was a nice surprise for Jaimie Stallone, West Feliciana Animal Humane Society president and her staff and volunteers. In his last message on Facebook, he commented he was looking for shelters in Louisiana,” shelter manager Kirstin Wade said. “Jamie and I decided to try and it was it was a really quick process.”
Fewer than 15 staff members and volunteers were on hand, but thanks to the Facebook Live feature, 3,700 people viewed the webcast. Live challenges helped boosted fundraising frenzy. Donors responded to calls of “Next $500 I will do 100 pushups” or “When we reach $6,000, we will dunk the lady from the Advocate.”
Rotonda performed the 100 pushups a few times and by the end of the event he and all the staff were soaking wet from the ice water bucket challenges. The initial $,5,000 goal was met in the first couple of hours. The next morning, the dollars were still rolling in and had topped $9,100.
A special “pound puppy” is at the heart of Rotonda’s journeys. He adopted Jordan at his local shelter 11 years ago. Before her adoption, she had spent her whole life in a shelter. They two became best friends until Jordan died in fall 2018 after a battle with cancer.
Rotonda is now fulfilling a promise to honor Jordan’s life by helping as many animal shelter dogs and cats as possible get adopted. Jordan’s Way also helps shelter stay afloat financially.
“We all love our dogs, but my dog Jordan inspired me to change the world,” he said “Unfortunately, 800 shelters don't have enough food to regularly feed the animals housed there.”