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‘Paws’ a great success

The Suffolk Humane Society’s sixth annual Paws for the Arts Gala was a huge hit on Saturday night, raising thousands for the society’s programs and services.

“It’s one of our biggest fundraisers to raise money to help us finish our mission and values of what the humane society does,” said Kerri Shallcross, treasurer and events coordinator for the humane society.

At least three dogs with donation vests — one also sporting a red skirt — roamed the event gathering bills in their vest pockets. More than 250 humans enjoyed food and drink, silent and live auctions and more entertainment at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront.

The event did feature a few somber moments with a tribute to Rhonda Duman Jones, who died Aug. 22 after a brief fight with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“This is the first year she won’t be with us,” Shallcross said. “She made Paws. It was her idea, so we absolutely felt she needed to be remembered. She was very close to a lot of us, so she’s in our hearts tonight.”

The Suffolk Humane Society provides a variety of services such as low-cost spay and neuters with the Neuter Scooter, promoting humane education and more.

Shallcross said her committee, which included Jade Jones, Pat Scott, Jackie Cherry, Margie Wiley, Fran Duman and Sara Johnston, did a great job with the event.

“It was all of them that made this possible,” Shallcross said.