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Hurricane Irma impacts force shelter to cancel Toast to Animals fundraiser

Jacksonville Humane Society's annual event raises more than $150K

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Humane Society has canceled Toast to the Animals, the annual benefit scheduled for Friday, becaues of damage to the city from Hurricane Irma.

JHS took in 59 animals from Clay County after the municipal shelter flooded during the hurricane, and the shelter is making plans to bring in more animals from Southern Florida this weekend.

"JHS has been, and will continue to, evacuate animals impacted by the storm to our facility for veterinary care and adoption," shelter spokeswoman Lindsay Layendecker said in a news release.

Toast to the Animals is an annual fundraiser for the JHS Medical Fund, which raises more than $150,000 for the veterinary care of thousands of dogs and cats in Jacksonville.

JHS is offering ticket holders the choice to donate the purchase price of their tickets or tickets can be refunded by request.

Silent auction items will be available during an online auction event at later date.

The raffle for the VIP Jaguars experience will be drawn at 4 p.m. on Friday, and tickets are still available for purchase at jaxhumane.org/toast.

“This was not an easy decision as we know that so many of our donors and friends were looking forward to this event, but our focus now is making sure that we provide care and compassion to the victims of Hurricane Irma both locally and throughout the state of Florida,” said Denise Deisler, executive director. “We are so thankful to our sponsors who supported our decision and still made a donation despite the event being canceled.”

JHS has posted cancellation information on its website and Facebook page, and sent an email to every donor.

Anyone who had yet to purchase a ticket and would like to help can visit jaxhumane.org/donate and select “Hurricane Relief” as their donation option. Those who wish to receive a refund can email events@jaxhumane.org.