Animals at the Ottawa Humane Society will get a helping hand as the non-profit organization recently announced its fifth annual FurBall gala.

To be held at the end of March, the gala raises money for animal care, emergency rescue programs, public education and humane education for the shelter’s school programs, said Ottawa Humane Society spokeswoman Tara Jackson.

“Everything is funnelled into operations for the 11,000 animals that we help every year,” she said.

After the walkathon in September, the gala is the shelter’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

While the walk­athon is geared toward families, the gala allows the shelter to reach out to a different segment of animal lovers, said Jackson.

This year, Laureen Harper will return as honourary chair of the gala.

Despite hard economic times, Jackson said the shelter is hopeful the support will remain.

While last year’s gala raised $119,000, Jackson said this year’s goal is to raise the same.

The FurBall is held at the National Gallery of Canada on March 28.

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