There's long been a connection between country music and animals.
So it made sense when the Langley Animal Protection Society opened the doors of the Patti Dale Animal Shelter to two local figures in the country music world on Tuesday.
Brookswood musician Trevor Murray and Chris Coburn, a DJ with Country 107.1, both got a tour of the shelter thanks to their support of the annual Furry Tail Endings Fall Gala.
Shelter director Sean Baker and Jayne Nelson, one of the key staffers for LAPS, took the duo around to show where their support will go.
The tour of the 10,000 square foot shelter included everything from the kennel to the laundry room, from the cat condos to the rooms where barely-weaned kittens are being bottle fed.
Coburn was taken with some orange kittens that crawled right up onto his shoe to check him out. Their mother was apparently killed, and they're being nursed back to health and cared for 24 hours a day by staff and volunteers.
Hundreds of stray cats and kittens pass through LAPS in a given year, but just three per cent are returned to their owners because of lack of tags or other identification.
Dogs are returned to their owners more than 80 per cent of the time, Baker said, and LAPS is currently lucky to have several empty spots in its kennels.
There are still quite a few dogs awaiting adoption, including a big orange mutt that came out to meet (and lick) the visitors.
"I just love how every part of every room is catered to the animals," said Murray.
"Pretty impressive, what they're doing here."
Coburn, who just lost his family cat to old age and cancer, has a Nova Scotia duck tol-ler at home.
He plans to get a shelter dog the next time he wants to add an animal to his family.
"It's so hard coming in here, I just want to take somebody home," Coburn said.
Murray will sing at the Furry Tale Endings Gala on Nov. 3 at the Langley Coast Hotel and Casino. Country 107.1 is the radio sponsor for the event, and Coburn's colleague Curtis Pope, the station's afternoon drive DJ, will be the host.
Tickets for the gala will help fund LAPS programs such as training, medical bills, and the many other expenses that result from caring for more than 1,500 animals, from cats and dogs to llamas and cattle, every year.
Tickets are still available for the gala, and can be purchased at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter at 26220 56th Ave., every day from 9 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m., by phone at 604-857-5055, or by email to email@example.com.