CT Humane Gala raises nearly $45k for pets!

Local pets are better off this year thanks to supporters of the Connecticut Humane Society’s Diamonds in the Ruff virtual gala. Proceeds of this year gala are going specifically to the Behavior and Enrichment programs of CHS, which helps to ensure pets are behaviorally prepared for life in their new homes; the Education Scholarship Fund, which is designed to provide pet-related educational programming to schools and organizations that otherwise can’t afford them; and to the Pet Food Pantry and Traveling Pet Food Pantry programs that help to provide food for pets in families that are in financial distress.

Sponsors and attendees raised nearly $45,000 at the Nov. 10th event, which included a live virtual show emceed by NBC Connecticut’s Heidi Voight (and past CHS Gertrude O. Lewis Humanitarian Society honoree), an online auction, and sales of Paw Pack swag bags.

“Thanks to our donors and especially to those who contributed during this year’s gala, the pets are never alone, no matter what happens. Their caring hearts make it possible for CHS to be ready for whatever happens – whether that’s a stray momma cat and her kittens needing a safe place to land, helping pets affected by Hurricane Ian, or the 800 days of care we’ve given to pets who have had to temporarily separate from their families due to crisis” said Executive Director James Bias.

Back by popular demand, this year’s virtual gala show had a special component: Guests learned about three CHS programs, and then voted for their favorite. Each program got a portion of gala proceeds, based on the vote.

CHS’ Behavior and Enrichment program earned the most votes at 62%. Every dog, cat and small animal that comes through CHS’ doors receives a training and enrichment plan that helps them express their natural behaviors, and learn, explore and play in new ways. When an animal needs some extra behavior help (nearly 20% of CHS shelter intakes in 2021), they get a personalized plan that allows every person working with that pet to support them during their shelter stay. The Behavior and Enrichment program transforms pets into better versions of themselves for their new families.

The Pet Food Pantry and Traveling Pet Food Pantry got 21% of the votes. With a formal program at each of CHS’ three locations as well as pop-up events across the state, these CHS programs provide pet food for community members in financial need—including over 170,000 meals for pets in the last year alone. They are essential for many members of the community who are struggling to afford food for their pets, and they help to keep families together and pets out of shelters.

Finally, the Education Scholarship Fund received 17% of the votes. Each year, CHS serves over 6,000 learners of all ages with programs on topics like safety around pets, pet DNA, senior animal care and more. With demand greater than ever, the Education Scholarship Fund supports K-12 students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in CHS’ humane education and STEM-focused programs.

The gala’s title sponsor was Hill’s Pet Nutrition; presenting sponsors were Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Newport One; the gold sponsors were Bravecto, the Alford Group and Amenta Emma Architects; silver sponsors included Sullivan and LeShane, and Idexx.

Pet lovers around the state are invited to watch the recorded version of the broadcast at