This article was featured in WYDaily on 11/11/22.
A beloved Williamsburg tradition is kicking off the holiday season – the trimming of the Holiday “Fur” Tree in honor of area pets. Each year The Heritage Humane Society sells festive red ribbons for people to purchase to honor or commemorate their pets. The tree topper is always reserved to create awareness for the homeless pets at the area’s largest animal shelter.
The Holiday Fur Tree will be in its traditional spot on Prince George Street. A cheery sight of red and green, it is going up the weekend after Thanksgiving and staying up through New Year’s.
“The Holiday Fur Tree celebrates the love the Greater Williamsburg community has for its pets and our homeless pets at The Heritage Humane Society waiting to find their forever homes,” says Kimberly Laska, Executive Director of The Heritage Humane Society. “Everything from the real-estate space, tree, ribbons, and labor is donated by dedicated businesses and our HHS Auxiliary volunteers, and this joyful effort makes it so all of the money raised from the Fur Tree goes directly to helping homeless pets in need.”
Community of pet lovers invited
Each year, the Fur Tree is covered with so many red ribbons honoring and in memory of furry friends, it is almost hard to see the pine branches. In 2021, 315 festive, handwritten bows decorated the tree and nearly $14,000 was raised.
Bright red bows are available for $15 for a small size and $30 large size. The bows are donated by Williamsburg Floral & Gifts and personalized by members of the Heritage Humane Society Auxiliary, or HHS Auxiliary. They are then added to the tree donated by the Homestead Garden Center.
“As a local company of Williamsburg for over forty years, it’s our honor and a privilege to partner with the Heritage Humane Society in the tradition of remembering pets and pet lovers,” says Elgin Morris, Owner of Williamsburg Floral & Gifts.
Dr. Bill Christensen, President of the HHS Auxiliary, and his wife Lynne Christensen spearhead this fundraiser. Bill says “Our generous sponsors, along with all those who purchase bows, help make this fundraising event an important part of the Auxiliary’s annual donation towards caring for and adopting our community’s homeless pet population.”
The Fur Tree is a fundraiser organized by the active, highly impactful Heritage Humane Society Auxiliary, or HHS Auxiliary. There are currently 60 HHS Auxiliary members and new members are welcome. They meet on the second Wednesday of every month at 10:15 a.m. in the Heritage Humane Society classroom.
Christensen goes on to shares, “The Heritage Humane Society Auxiliary’s Fur Tree has stood proudly during the holidays on Williamsburg’s Prince George Street for nearly the past quarter century. Decorated with handmade small and large red bows, the Fur Tree carries the names of past and present companion animals with the largest treetop ribbon dedicated to all those awaiting a new forever home from our shelter.”
Easy participation options
Pet lovers have multiple purchase options for bows for the Holiday Fur Tree. They can buy bows online, or print and complete this Fur Tree Form and pay by check by mailing it or bringing it directly to The Heritage Humane Society. They shelter is located at 430 Waller Mill Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23185.
People can purchase a small bow for $15 or a large bow for $30. Up to three names can be inscribed on each bow. Some people choose pets (past or present) and some people choose human pet-lovers names. All purchases are tax-deductible and go directly into use to support local pets in need.