By Anne Eickstadt


On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Animal Friends Society of Boone County held a fundraiser at Niko’s Cabin from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“Animal Friends Society’s mission is to provide rescue assistance to animals in need, control pet overpopulation with spay and neuter programs, and enhance people’s relationships with animals through responsiblie pet ownership education and assistance,” the Animal Friends Society’s website,, states.

“Our main objective is to make money for the vet, so we can spay or neuter feral cats – the ones that are out there – to cut down the feral population,” Society President Sue Johnson, said. “After that, our goal is to put cat food and dog food at the Food Pantry in Capron, so people can keep their pets and not have to let them go.”

The generosity of these donations is very much appreciated by the animal owners who can’t fathom losing their companion(s).

“Two weeks ago, a lady donated 50 pounds of cat food, 50 pounds of dog food, and lots of cans of cat food,” Johnson said. “When we opened our trunk and she saw it, the lady at the Food Pantry in Capron was ecstatic. She was jumping up and down.”

People can donate directly to the food pantry or to the drop-off point in Belvidere.

“Niko’s here, [located at 506 S. State St. in Belvidere] is a drop off spot for cat and dog food and kitty litter, so we can donate at Capron. You don’t have to drive all the way up there, drop it off here, and we will do it for you.”

Niko’s Cabin also was the location for the Animal Friends Society of Boone County first Meat Raffle.

“We got a combo box at 640 Meats in Loves Park,” Johnson said. “The man there wants me to call him back and tell him how it went. All proceeds go to the animals. All proceeds stay in Boone County.”

The Animal Friends Society is always looking for opportunities, such as this meat raffle, to expand their efforts throughout Boone County.

“This organization has been around for six years,” volunteer Sherry Cuthburtson said. “We’re not very big, but we want to grow. We need more volunteers.”

Johnson agreed that more volunteers would help their efforts.

“We need volunteers,” Johnson said. “We need sponsors to pay for event prizes and advertising. We can promote the sponsors. Everyone helps everyone else. We can also work with other organizations. Our money goes to spaying and neutering, but other organizations’ money goes to adoption, so we can work together without being in competition.”

The main goal is to help the furry creatures have humane lives.

“I think we are a very supportive group who is willing to do anything for helping animals,” volunteer Brenda Whittaker said.

Volunteer Tricia Smith agreed, “It’s a good thing.”

This was just one of the many unique events Johnson and the rest of the Animal Friends Society volunteers coordinate.

“I like to do different kinds of events,” Johnson said. “We can get different people involved. We have done the Boone County Fair. We also cooperate with other animal groups such as Fresh Start, Boone County Animal Services, and Stateline Spay and Neuter. We have a craft show coming up on Dec. 2, at the Community Building [located at 111 W. First St. in Belvidere] for Hometown Christmas. This last spring we held a ‘Dance Your Tail Off’ fundraiser. We are working on another dance, and we can use help with that. We need volunteers to help plan and set up for the dance and donors for raffles and prizes. It’s so exciting. It’s a lot of work, but this is the fun part.”

Plus, the Animal Friends Society is open to new ideas along with new volunteers.

“We are open to suggestions for fundraisers,” Johnson said. “We need all kinds of stuff for the animals all the time, and we need items for raffle baskets to raise money for the animals.”

The Animal Friends Society of Boone County is a not-for-profit organization. For more information, go to:


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