Report, interviews and photos by Ibrahim Dabo.
North Shore Animal League America on Nov. 4, 2010 hosted its 5th Annual DogCatemy Celebrity Gala at Cipriani’s on Wall St. in New York City and hundreds of guests gathered, some with their pets.
J. John Stevenson, President of North Shore Animal League, in his welcome note in the souvenir journal said, “2010 also saw the expansion of our other programs.
“Our Mill Rescue Program, with the help of our partners, including National Mill Dog Rescue, saved hundreds of dogs from inhumane treatment at commercial breeding facilities, also known as puppy mills.
“We increased public awareness of the variety of animals available at local shelters across the U.S., and educated the public that buying an animal from a pet store supports inhumane breeding facilities and perpetuates animal cruelty.”
Actress, comedian and musician Sandra Bernhard served as Master of Ceremonies at the gala. She told Ib’s Blog in an interview that she adopted her dog from North Shore Animal League last year.
“It’s just a wonderful organization,” Bernhard said of North Shore Animal League America.
“It’s a no-kill shelter. They really take care of their animals and they get great matches for people and pets and it’s just a wonderful way to bring an animal to life.”
Bernhard, talking about the issue of love and abuse to animals worldwide said, “Unfortunately, people don’t treat people very well so if you can, start with an animal and walk your way up, or, start with a person and walk your way down.
“All living creatures should be treated with dignity and love and tenderness and the world would be a nicer place, wouldn’t it?”
“North Shore Animal League [America] has been around for so long,” actor Stephen Baldwin told Ib’s Blog in an interview.
“They have an excellent reputation and I just wanted to be here to continue to support them and create more awareness toward animal adoption and help them raise money in that effort.”
Baldwin said America plays a leading role in the investment and care for animals.
“If you look at the money that is spent annually in America on animals, pets and things like that, I think America is one of the nations that leads in the idea of the importance of caring for animals, and that is important.”
Bibhu Mohapatra, designer, said he was born in India into a family of three pets.
“I always grew amongst them and I always loved dogs, two or three dogs I had, and some of them I was really close to,” Mohapatra told Ib’s Blog in an exclusive interview.
“They kind of shaped my growing up and so I have always been passionate about dogs and pets in general. It is my first time here [at the gala] and I am really happy.”
Mohapatra said the dogs gave him unconditional love and “they are loyal and grateful and that’s what I learned. You give them love and you get it back many times more and it taught me the basic human nature and attributes that makes us who we are.”
However, Mohapatra has some issues relating to the treatment of dogs when they get sick.
“I had a dog who was really unwell but I could not even do that [put the dog to sleep] in India, even just kill a dog. Even if they are suffering we try to comfort them as much as [possible] just like you do to human beings.
“So that’s something like when I first came in [to the U.S.] and people would say, ‘oh the dog got sick so we have to put the dog to sleep’ and I’m like… this doesn’t make any sense.
“But I understand at the same time because you shorten their pain but who knows. You never know what they would be thinking – would they rather go through the pain and be with you? That’s something completely unknown,” Mohapatra said.
Award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist, Deborah Cox, told Ib’s Blog in an exclusive interview, “I’m here to support North Shore [Animal League America]. They are the largest animal shelter in the world and I’m here to support little four-legged friends that give us love and joy unconditionally.
“I am a huge animal lover. I have grown up with dogs all my life. I am allergic to cats, unfortunately, but I’ve had the pleasure of having pets growing up and it’s just wonderful to be here tonight to support.”
Talking about the investment and care toward pets in the U.S. compared to other needs been addressed in the world, Cox said, “I think it goes both ways. I think it’s important to support the organizations that really are truly doing something.
“I, totally, am with you. I know that there is a lot of need in the world. There are many natural disasters, a lot of world disasters that happen as well but I think it is important to recognize and celebrate the organizations that do what they say they are supposed to do and North Shore [Animal League America] has been a very, very good organization in protecting abused animals.”
Cox was on stage at the gala and put up a stunning performance.
Click on album below for Gala photos by Ibrahim Dabo.
|2010 North Shore Animal League America’s DogCatemy Celebrity Gala|
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