A local animal shelter is asking residents to chow down for canines and kitties.

The Prairie Paws Animal Shelter has planned its sixth annual Bow Meow Benefit Dinner and Auction for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sacred Heart Church Parish Hall, 426 S. Cedar St., Ottawa. The proceeds from the event go toward furthering the nonprofit shelter’s efforts to care for homeless animals, Mi’Chielle Cooper, executive director of the shelter, said.

“It’s going to be a full-blown gala dinner,” Cooper said. “People will not go away hungry.”

The menu for the evening is expected to include beef and chicken tenderloin, a vegetable and dessert. A vegetarian option also is planned. Tickets are available for $50 each at the shelter, 3173 K-68, Ottawa, and at Cottonwood Animal Hospital, 3161 K-68.

In addition to the meal, patrons will be able to participate in three silent auctions and one live auction. The auctions are expected to feature several trips to exotic locations, including a girlfriends’ getaway to Rodeo Drive in Hollywood, with a shopping gift certificate and personal shopper.

The auction also will include framed photographic art pieces, original watercolor art, hand-crafted alpaca scarves, engraved wine glasses, engraved beer mugs, horse shoe candle holders and jewelry. Other planned auction items include game tickets for the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Wichita Thunder.

Increases in operating costs, as well as additional shelter programs in the community, have raised the need for funding at the shelter, Cooper said.

Tough economic times also have caused people to cut down on everything, including pets, she said. And when pets become homeless, Cooper said, many end up at the shelter — raising the animal head count, along with the shelter’s expenses.

Events like the dinner and auction are an important way to raise funds and awareness for the shelter to continue the work it is doing, Cooper said.

“We are hoping to raise double what we’ve done in the past, so we are shooting for $55,000 in revenue,” she said.

Awards are expected to be given at the dinner to key people in the community who have helped further the cause of the shelter by volunteering and providing services, Cooper said. A variety of entertainment also is planned throughout the evening.