NEWINGTON, CT — Veterinary care is within reach for many more families and their pets across the state even during tough times, thanks to the Connecticut Humane Society’s virtual gala.
The Diamonds in the Ruff virtual gala raised more than $40,000 for CHS’ Special Assistance Fund, which keeps pets in their homes — and out of shelters — by aiding their families when they can’t afford veterinary treatment. The multi-day gala celebration from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14 included an online auction and live online show, and also featured sales of “Paw Packs” of wine or beer, CHS wine or pint glasses, and a pet toy.
CHS’ Special Assistance Fund has been used more than ever this year, with so many families and their pets needing a helping hand due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It makes a broad range of medical care possible for pets in need, including X-rays, surgeries, diagnostics and care with off-site specialists, as well as vaccinations, routine exams and preventative care.
Executive Director James Bias told guests on the live gala show about some of the pets who’ve benefitted from the fund over the past few months at CHS’ reduced-fee Fox Memorial Clinic.
“At the start of COVID-19 restrictions, Fox Memorial Clinic focused on urgent cases and rescheduled routine exams,” he said. “And we saw how much families and pets needed this. The clinic healed Blue, a kitty who’d broken his leg and needed an amputation. The Special Assistance Fund—which you’re all supporting tonight—helped make it possible.
“Fox also was there for a young dog who suddenly couldn’t stop vomiting and didn’t want to eat. Then there’s the cat who ate ribbon and needed surgery to remove it. And a dog named Wally, whose ears were painful from infections.”
While CHS has adapted amid COVID-19 safeguards to continue offering veterinary care for owned pets in the community, it’s also enhanced safety in other ways to continue providing medical treatment for homeless pets and adopting them to new families.
“The Connecticut Humane Society wanted to be there for the state’s pets and people during this most challenging year,” Bias said.
In addition to those who bid in the gala’s online auction, funds were also raised through sponsors. The event’s title sponsor was Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Presenting Sponsors were Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Launch Communications and Newport One.