Zoology Foundation's "Hairy & Hilarious" comedy night raised more than $30,000 to support two causes working side-by-side.

For more than 30 years, Freedom Service Dogs of America has had a unique mission -- to "unleash the potential of shelter dogs by transforming them into custom-trained, life-changing assistance dogs for people in need." But funding the Englewood nonprofit's mission is no small task. In fact, the transformation process for just one rescued shelter dog into a trained service animal can take between six and nine months and upwards of $30,000.

These custom-trained service dogs are given (at absolutely no charge) to the recipient. There is actually a severe shortage of dog trainees in the program, currently, with more than 90 people on the waiting list. When properly trained, a service dog can assist people with a variety of disabilities -- whether traumatic brain injury, autism, multiple sclerosis, or something else.


That's why Zoology Foundation -- the animal sanctuary and educational center in Larkspur – reached out to Freedom Service Dogs and invited them to co-produce a fundraiser, as there is a power in collaboration. Together, both organizations can reach more people. They held a comedy benefit night on Tuesday, July 17, with ticket and auction proceeds going to support both organizations.

A few of the dogs and one baby goat even came out to the "Hairy & Hilarious" event, which was held at Comedy Works South, to mingle with ticketholders on the patio before the show. And boy, were they sweethearts -- such amazing temperaments!

At the lobby bar, guests enjoyed donated beer, courtesy of Breckenridge Brewery, while VIP ticketholders were treated to cocktails and a full taco buffet in the upstairs lounge.

The auction itself was lively, animated, fun -- and extremely successful! All kinds of donated items and experiences were auctioned off, including spa packages, helicopter flying lessons, and Broncos
tickets. More than $30,000 was raised.

Comedic entertainment was provided by comic ventriloquist Marc Rubben, who delighted everyone with his stand-up routine, three hilarious puppet characters, and audience interaction.

What a fun way to end a wonderful evening!

For more information on how you can donate or be a part of either the Zoology Foundation or Freedom Service Dogs organizations, please check out their websites!

Castle Rock's Wellspring gives meaningful work and life experience to the disabled community.