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Blessed Bonds helps pet lovers during difficult times

Marv Arlene Kuzdas share their home with MamKitty Baby Kitty Mabel. Blessed Bonds Director Renee Hix Mays says Kuzdas have

Marv and Arlene Kuzdas share their home with Mama Kitty, Baby Kitty and Mabel. Blessed Bonds Director Renee Hix Mays says the Kuzdas have been “our ‘go-to’ multiple cat fosters since just about the beginning of Blessed Bonds.” The three cats spent a month with the Kuzdas until being reunited with Jason, their owner. | Courtesy of R. Hix Mays

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At A Glance

What: Blessed Bonds’ first major fundraiser, Furry Friends Fall-Tober Fest

When: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30

Where: Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora

Tickets: $35 for adults and $15 for children (12 and younger). Purchase tickets in advance at or by contacting Renee Hix Mays at Checks should be made out to Blessed Bonds.

Updated: October 20, 2012 6:06AM

When Gina learned she needed a total hysterectomy, she knew she needed help.

Likewise, Dan needed some time to recover from hip surgery.

And Jason, too, needed assistance as he was moving back to Illinois from Florida.

Gina, Dan and Jason all shared a common need during their stressful times: someone to help them care for their beloved pets. That’s where Blessed Bonds comes in.

Blessed Bonds, a nonprofit program dedicated to preserving the human-animal bond, offers foster care to pet owners temporarily unable to care for their pets. The program has been a subsidiary of Animals Deserving of Proper Treatment Pet Shelter in Naperville for almost two years now.

Blessed Bonds’ Director Renee Hix Mays wants people to know the “importance and uniqueness” of the program, which aids pet owners dealing with crises such as illness, hospitalization, foreclosure and evictions.

“The shelters are full enough,” Hix Mays said. “We don’t need animals given up when it’s not necessary.”

Hix Mays said the program has a list of about 30 to 40 foster homes, about 15 of which constantly open their homes to needy pets for up to two months, sometimes longer.

The program’s director added that in 2011, Blessed Bonds helped about 55 to 65 cats and dogs.

“We’d like to see (the program grow) bigger,” she said. “We’d like to help more people.

“We have some things we’d like to do — get more help from boarding places and veterinarians because a lot of times we cannot respond quickly enough. If we could find some kennels that we could make a deal with, we would pay them something (to help us).”

To further the foster-based program, Blessed Bonds will sponsor its first major fundraiser,“Furry Friends Fall-Tober Fest, from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at TwoBrothers Roundhouse in Aurora.

“(We have reserved a) beautiful banquet room, which has room for a minimum of 100 people, and even a private outdoor area,” Hix Mays said.

The fundraiser will feature a buffet lunch, raffle, silent auction and music by Phoenixx.

“The Roundhouse has been fabulous,” the Blessed Bonds director said. “We’re (even) developing a significantly different menu geared toward the (Octoberfest) season.”

After the buffet lunch, the raffle and silent auction will feature electronics, Kindles, sports items and cooking items, among other things. An award-winning artist has also offered to paint an original pet portrait for one winning bidder.

“We’ve had a tremendous response with (donations,)” Hix Mays said.

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