Paws up for Humane Society’s arts gala

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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Suffolk citizens were dressed up to the nines Saturday night as the Suffolk Humane Society held its 8th annual Paws for the Arts Gala, the first time in-person since the start of the pandemic.

The gala drew city officials, sponsors and folks from the community in their best dresses and suits to view artwork by local artists, participate in the auctions, and even visit with therapy dogs.

“It’s a wonderful event this evening,” said Suffolk Humane Society Board of Directors President Margie Wiley during the Saturday, Feb. 18 gala held at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. “We have live and silent auctions, items that have been donated by local artists as well as local businesses to include pizza for a year from Amici’s, we’ve got burgers for a year from Baron’s, we’ve got local painters and artisans that donated their work that’s available, so it’s just really a good night across the board.”

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Suffolk Humane Society volunteer Jennifer Dale also attended with her therapy dog named Sunshine.

“It’s wonderful! It’s such a great event and raising money for a good cause and we’re thrilled to be able to be here with the therapy dogs to support,” Dale said. “Hopefully they’ll get lots of donations.”

Suffolk Mayor Michael Duman attended alongside his dog Teddy, also a working therapy dog. Duman talked about the work of the SHS as well as the importance of the work that therapy dogs such as Teddy provide to local hospitals.

“I’ve been involved with the Humane Society for a dozen years, been on the board for about a dozen years, as president for about three, and they got some very dedicated volunteers as well as employees,” Duman said. “We work hand-in-hand with Suffolk Animal Care Center also. A lot of the cats that we adopt come from Suffolk Animal Care, and most of them end up at the PetSmarts in Chesapeake and Suffolk.”

Duman said he hopes everyone had a good time at this year’s gala.

“Have a good time and raise some money, but it offers another opportunity for awareness as far as what the Suffolk Humane Society does and the positive effect it has on our community,” he said.