Residents from far and wide showed their support for their furry friends who find themselves the victims of unfortunate circumstances and without homes.Tears Animals Rescue’s annual Sleepathon kicked off on Saturday 16 November. The event, which sees supporters raise funds for the shelter and then curl up for the night next to a homeless dog or cat, is an extravaganza that runs over three consecutive Saturdays.Held at the shelter in Sunnydale, the Sleepathon was sold out even before the first night, according to Lauren Carlyle, general manager at the shelter.The proceeds of the three days go directly to the shelter and are used for its rescue, rehab and rehome programme, for free sterilisations in the communities they work in and to support the welfare and mobile dog clinics which offer subsidised veterinary care. Pauline Dwyer and Lindsay Edwards had raised R19 000 by the time they tucked in with their pooches – Zoe and Peach Blossom, – on the first Saturday. This was the fourth Sleepathon for Aver Ballentyne who nestled in with to Dayle, Myla and Flash, together with her human friend Lea Ferguson.Jenny Zonjee, who has been a volunteer at Tears for about seven years, cuddled up with a dog, named Rango, she’s formed a special bond with.Carlyle also reported the organisation has maintained a healthy financial outlook for the second year in a row, reflecting a marginal profit thanks to its aggressive cost-cutting strategy and revenue enhancement drive.Revenue earned matched the previous year’s level with a 10% increase in the sale of goods at Tears’ four charity shops, and an 11% decrease in donations and fundraising, respectively, a statement read. “In the medium term, we aim to focus on the development of a member-led loyalty programme and branded merchandise line. With more streamlined and consistent marketing strategies in place, we’re thrilled to see a steady increase in the rehoming of cats and dogs, which means we can take in more animals from the areas that we serve,” Carlyle concluded in the statement.Expansion of the programme, despite profits, is still impossible without regular contributions from sponsors and donors. V Call Tears on 021 785 4482 or visit its website www.tears.org.za/sleepathon for more information or to donate or to volunteer.