The Animal Foundation
Published Monday, March 24, 2014 | 12:53 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | 1:40 p.m.
Organizers have closed the book on entrants in the raffle for the “Arson Puppies," and all of the dogs received multiple bids and should be heading to new homes soon.
Entry in the Animal Foundation's raffle of 25 puppies rescued from a January pet shop fire closed at 11 a.m. today. Officially, 222 participants paid $250 per entry for the chance to adopt one of the puppies, the foundation said in an email this afternoon. That means the raffle raised $55,500 for the foundation, which has cared for the dogs since the fire.
According to the raffle website, where unofficial totals were listed as of 1:30 p.m. today, nine people are vying to adopt Neci, a male Chihuahua shorthaired, and the last of the 25 puppies to draw bidders. Official entry numbers should be posted by 3 p.m. today, organizers said.
"We weren't really sure what to expect," said Meghan Scheibe, marketing and public relations manager for the Animal Foundation. She said the foundation anticipated interest to pick up as the close of the raffle drew near, and it did.
The drawing page was updated throughout Monday and up to today's 11 a.m. deadline to reflect the current number of bids for each puppy.
The raffle kicked off at 11 a.m. Sunday after a weeklong court battle over the puppies came to a close on Friday.
Donald Thompson, the estranged husband of the woman who is accused of attempting to torch the pet store, had argued the Animal Foundation – which had cared for the puppies since the fire – was staging a raffle to make a profit off the puppies. Thompson fought to place the puppies through A Home 4 Spot a private rescue, but the lawsuit was settled with both parties agreeing on the raffle.
The Animal Foundation contended the drawing was the only fair way to give everyone who wanted an “Arson Puppy” a chance to adopt one of the dogs.
Prior to the raffle the shelter had reported more than 1,000 people had called about adopting the dogs.
The entry fee covers the cost of adoption of one dog through the Animal Foundation, organizers said. Money paid by ticket holders who do not receive dogs will go to subsidize future adoptions.
Winners will be notified Wednesday. The Animal Foundation and A Home 4 Spot will vet potential adopters.