Tails wag at Humane eventPublished 9:42pm Monday, July 16, 2012
Rain late in the day may have ended the event slightly earlier than planned, but Saturday’s Passion for Paws Picnic and Whiskers Wine Tasting in the parking lot of a North Suffolk eatery was a big success by all accounts.
The event, with gourmet food and wines from the River Stone Chophouse and the Vintage Tavern, was held in memory of two dogs rescued by one of its organizers, Teresa Mullins, and her husband Brian Mullins.
Suffolk Humane Society was overwhelmed by the community support of the event, which was attended by about 200 people, Teresa Mullins said.
“The number of people that came and participated in the events — all that money is going straight to the Humane Society,” she said.
Mullins, who owns the two restaurants with her husband, said the event was organized after the Mutt Strut, Suffolk Humane’s annual fundraiser, was moved to spring.
Outside the Chophouse, in Harbour View, turned out to be a good location for the inaugural picnic and wine tasting event, which is now likely to be on next year’s calendar.
“We wanted to find out how people responded to the place, and it really was a success,” Mullins said. “The good thing about it, it’s not just us, it’s all our staff at both of the restaurants.”
Teresa and Brian Mullins have been adopting pooches since 1980, and the farm where they live has 11 headstones for rescued dogs that have died, Brian Mullins said.
One of the main attractions at the event was Virginia Beach’s Frank Grantz and his Jack Russell stunt team The Flying Jacks.
“This was a good day out for their first event,” Grantz said. “I think Teresa did a great job organizing and promoting this event.”
According the Grantz, three dogs were adopted during the event. “Usually at these events it’s one dog, two dogs; three dogs was pretty awesome,” he said.
“Suffolk Humane are great folks, and any time we get a chance to help them out, I will bend over backwards.”
At least two civic leaders attended the event, Mayor Linda Johnson and Councilman Mike Duman.
“It (the event) was greatly needed, because we’re not having the Mutt Strut this year,” Duman said. “It’s my understanding they plan to make it an annual event. It will continue to grow.”