Ship’s cats and salty dogs rule at the Humane Society Furball

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Nothing was going to stop the Gananoque and District Humane Society (GDHS) from hosting the most popular party cruise on August 26.

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Rockport Cruise Lines donated the boat, but at the last moment had to upgrade to a smaller craft due to unexpected technical difficulties. Even with a smaller ship to work with, the capacity-spent crowd of 150 had no trouble enjoying the time of their lives.

A “come as you are not” affair, the crowd was filled with many cats, a few dogs, an entire family of pirates (with their parrot) and a Highland cow.

“We had a wonderful evening,” said Helen Hawes, GDHS. “We were able to raise over $4,600 and fill the boat with a maximum capacity of 150 guests and volunteers. (The) winner of the $394 50/50 draw was Beth Dunkinson.

Music for the cruise was provided by cover band R-Banned, who donated their time and talents to the shelter. Even with limited space to move around, people still got up, danced and had a blast.

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Kira Kovalenko, four, from Ukraine, was the belle of the ball at the annual Furball cruise on August 26. Lorraine Payette/for Postmedia Network Photo by Lorraine Payette /for the postmedia network

Ukrainian family Irina and Kira Kovalenko were part of the evening, and four-year-old Kira proved to be the real belle of the ball as she danced everyone under the table.

“It was a wonderful evening, and it’s such a great cause,” said Kevin Quinn. “We definitely plan to come back next year.”

The GDHS is an entirely volunteer-run shelter that receives all of its funding through donations and various fundraising efforts. Although only cats are housed at the shelter itself, they also care for homeless dogs through a foster program. She still needs supplies and help with medical bills, and volunteers are always welcome.

To learn more about GDHS or to sign up as a volunteer, go to or visit them on Facebook at

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