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Friends, family host benefit for Victoria's 'fairy dog mother'

By BY JOHNATHAN SILVER - JSILVER@VICAD.COM
June 25, 2014 at 1:25 a.m.

Heidi Uresti-Sanchez with husband, Paul Sanchez, and son, Cayden Sanchez.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Benefit for Sanchez family

• WHEN: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday; food will be served until 1:30 p.m.

• WHERE: Victoria All Star Dance Academy, 125 N. Star Drive

• COST: $8 a plate

• CONTACT: Shannon Dooling at 361-652-8210

Though family and friends are holding a benefit Sunday to honor Heidi Uresti-Sanchez and her family, she's focusing on who else it can help.

Uresti-Sanchez's Victoria home sustained fire and smoke damage mid-May this year, resulting in the death of her family cat while other animals suffered injuries. Operating around-the-clock pet service out of her home, where she cares for special needs animals in a home environment, she's referred to as Victoria's "fairy dog mother."

Community members can help with relief for the family and medical costs for injuries animals suffered from the fire. The event at the Victoria All Star Dance Academy will include barbecue food for $8 a plate, a raffle, silent auction and bake sale.

Grateful, Uresti-Sanchez plans to use whatever money is left over to benefit others, saying she especially wants to do something for the firefighters who responded to the fire.

"I like to give. I don't like to get," she said, "because I know there are families that are worse off."

But she reiterated her appreciation.

"I totally get what they were doing," she said about organizers. "We're so grateful."

Before the fire, she, her husband and son were in the process of moving, working toward the opening of a pet hotel, which now she plans to open in August, under the name WAGS, which stands for Where Animals Get Spoiled.

A lover of animals, Uresti-Sanchez has been an animal advocate in the Crossroads when needed. In the aftermath of the 2011 wildfire in Bastrop, which destroyed hundreds of homes, she organized "Operation Furry Friends of Fire," a campaign to gather supplies to benefit animals affected. Volunteer efforts produced supplies by the truckload.

She does much for the community, said Heather Uresti-Bacak, Uresti-Sanchez's sister and one of the event organizers, before adding why people in the community should contribute through the benefit.

"It's going to a good family that's helped out the community."

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