Society sets Paws for the Arts

Published 5:58 pm Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Suffolk Humane Society will hold one of its biggest fundraisers of the year next month.

The fourth annual Paws for the Arts Gala will be held from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront.

“It’s one of our bigger fundraisers,” said Rhonda Jones, vice president and director of events for the society. “It’s probably our second-largest fundraiser behind Mutt Strut, and it just seems to grow each year.”

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The gala will feature the work of local artists, live and silent auctions, live entertainment, a cash bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Jones said last year’s event drew about 250 guests, and the society would love to have that many again.

Art to be auctioned off includes pottery, jewelry and oil paintings, Jones said. Many of them aren’t necessarily pet-related.

“You don’t have to be a pet enthusiast,” she said. “The art encompasses all different types of art.”

Other auction items include a one-hour airplane ride around the area, a weekend stay in a renovated farmhouse in southern Suffolk, a week in the Outer Banks and more.

A number of sponsorship opportunities are available for the event, including Pet Angels. A Pet Angel sponsorship is $100, includes a yearlong membership to the society and features the angel’s name read during a ceremony. Other sponsorship levels are available up to $750.

Jones said the society hopes to use the funds to increase its community outreach and community assistance programs, through which it assists pet owners who have fallen upon hard times and aren’t able to properly care for their pets.

“We want to be able to assist the community,” Jones said. “That’s really what a lot of our fundraising is going to go toward this year.”

The program offers a rabies vaccination clinic and a pet pantry to hand out pet food and other necessities. Jones said the society hopes to take the pet pantry on the road.

“We want to actually go into the community as opposed to having the community come to us,” she said.

The society relies on the community to fund its mission, programs and operation, Jones said. The organization does not receive any government subsidies and isn’t affiliated with any other organization.

Tickets are $50. Tickets and more information about the event are available at Tickets can also be purchased at Mike Duman Auto Sales in Suffolk or at the society office, 4300 Nansemond Parkway.