As someone who knows absolutely nothing about fashion and still wears some of the same clothes I wore in college, I was a little nervous to show up to a gala and pretend to be fancy. But this wasn’t just any red carpet, this was for the Humane Society. And on this red carpet, it’s more “Tell me about your dog” than it is “Who are you wearing?”.
This year’s annual To The Rescue! New York Gala was hosted by actor and comedian, Mario Cantone.
The evening started off with some very inspiring words from the Humane Society CEO, Wayne Pacelle. He acknowledged that many people might be feeling discouraged after the events of this recent election. He discussed how much progress he has seen since they first began their efforts, encouraging people to remain optimistic that fundamental change is possible.
The night was co-chaired by Amanda Hearst & Steve Read of the Friends Of Finn foundation which has raised more than $2 million to fight puppy mills.
Their dog Finn rocked a top hat better than anyone I’ve ever seen. I got to ask them one of my favorite dog people questions, “What’s the weirdest thing your dog has ever eaten?” Not only can this guy rock a top hat, he is also capable of stealing an entire stick of butter, which he also brought into bed with them.
I got to chat with Finn’s wife, @toastmeetsworld and her mom Katie Sturino. Toast has an incredibly inspiring rescue story. She spent 7 years of her life as a breeding dog at a puppy mill in North Carolina. She was found with a mouth of rotten teeth, which is why her tongue adorably sticks out of her mouth. Not only does Toast now have a modeling career, she also has a successful book and a husband. But no, I’m not at all jealous of a dog that would be RIDICULOUS lolol.
Toast was just one of the inspirational rescue pups that night. I was lucky enough to be seated next to Henry’s parents, who rescued him from a dog meat restaurant in Tianjin. He was initually traumatized from the cruelty he endured, but over time has become one of the friendliest dogs you will ever meet.
Henry’s story encapsulates precisely why this fundraiser is so important. The Humane Society not only saves thousands of lives in the U.S., but their efforts expand globally. This year’s fundraiser raised 1.7 MILLION DOLLARS. That. Is. Insane.
One of the big honors of the evening was the Corporate Consciousness Award which was given to Chief Brand Officer Ingo Wilts, who accepted on behalf of Hugo Boss.
“With our decision to go fur-free, we’ve anchored animal welfare as a fixture within our product sustainability program,” Wilts said in his acceptance speech.
This is important because there have to be leaders in this initiative until it becomes the norm.
The second major award of the night was the Compassion In Action award which went to the incredible Georgina Bloomberg. By the way, when asked who she was wearing, she literally did not know. Because when you have six dogs, a rescue pig, a goat, AND horses, #AINTNOBODYGOTTIMEFORTHAT.
Other red carpet highlights included talking to Jason Biggs, who is an unapologetically proud crazy dog person. And I respect the hell out of that. Biggs told me, “We don’t get out much. But the Humane Society will get us out of the house.”
When I finally did talk to someone about their dress, she had the best response possible. Liz Dee, Co-Owner of Smarties, showed up in a gorgeous gown made of RECYCLED. PLASTIC. BOTTLES.
Here she is with the designer, @LeanneMaily, who is also the founder of Vaute, an ethical fashion house for animal lovers. Yup, her dress is ALSO MADE OF RECYCLED. PLASTIC. BOTTLES. Sorry for caps, I’m just still processing how amazing this is.
While everyone I spoke to said something different, they all shared a deep passion, commitment, and personal investment in the amazing work the Humane Society does.
Moby told me
“The thing I love the most about the Humane Society is their ability to advance legistlation.”
Not only are they saving thousands of animals lives, they are changing laws to prevent animals from inhumane situations in the first place.
And yes, these two did acknowledge that they looked alarmingly similar.
I’ll leave you with my personal highlight of the evening, where Mario Cantone and I discussed every crazy dog lady’s dream guy, Tom Hardy. I told him about the existance of the Instagram account @TomHardyHoldingDogs, and this was his response.